Augusto Farfus celebrated his return to touring car racing at the season opener of the FIA World Touring Car Cup in Marrakech last weekend, after almost ten years away. In the predecessor series, the FIA World Touring Car Championship, Farfus last competed in a BMW 320si in 2010, before switching his attention to GT racing and the DTM.
“Being involved in touring car racing again after so many years is very exciting,” said Farfus. “I’m very grateful to BMW Motorsport for giving me this start with Hyundai in the WTCR.”
Farfus was aware of the challenge ahead of him even before the very first race: “I’m driving a racing car with front-wheel drive again for the first time in about 14 years. On top of that, a lot of the tracks are new to me. I have a lot to learn and will have extremely tough competition, so I’m expecting the year to be a difficult one.”
Farfus’s expectations proved true at the opener. He needed a bit of time in Morocco to adapt to the new environment and find the optimum setup for his Hyundai, however, he got better and better as the weekend went on. After taking 14th place in qualifying, he moved up one position into 13th place in race one. He finished eleventh in the second race. Then in eighth place, he was on track to finish in the top-ten in the third race, before a gearbox defect threw a spanner in the works. “It’s a shame that I retired from the third race with transmission problems,” said Farfus. “It would have been nice to take away a few more points from my first race weekend in this series.” Farfus picked up a total of eight points, which puts him in 14th place in the driver standings.
His overall summary: “It was a weekend of learning for me. The track and how things work in the WTCR were new to me but I got better and better as the weekend went on. Overall I was really happy to be back in touring car racing and to see that in principle we are competitive with our car.”
The WTCR calendar comprises ten race weekends. After the season opener in Morocco last weekend, the schedule includes highlights such as the races at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife as part of the 24-hour race from 20th-22nd June, and the races in Macau from 14th-17th November. The season finale will take place in Sepang from 13th-15th December.