Augusto Farfus was reunited with BMW Team Schnitzer at the weekend: the 10 Hours of Suzuka in Japan was on the schedule for them in the International GT Challenge. On Saturday, Farfus secured pole position for the #42 BMW M6 GT3. In Sunday’s race, Farfus and his team-mates, Martin Tomczyk and Nick Yelloly, crossed the line in fifth place.
The iconic Japanese Suzuka track greeted the teams and drivers with torrential rain on the opening day of the penultimate round of the 2019 IGTC season. However, conditions improved for Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race. In qualifying, Farfus again proved his skills and secured pole position with a time of 2:00.455 minutes.
“It is fantastic to get pole position in such an amazing race and against such a great backdrop as here in Japan. Thank you very much to BMW M Motorsport and BMW Team Schnitzer, who gave me a fantastic car,” Farfus enthused after setting the pole.
In Sunday’s 10-hour race, Farfus and BMW Team Schnitzer just missed out on a first podium finish of the season, after being involved in the battle for the top-three positions for a long period. Tomczyk took the lead from pole position and retained it until the first pit stop. Only later, the #42 car had to surrender the lead to the #25 Audi that ultimately won the race. As the race progressed, BMW Team Schnitzer stayed within touching distance of the podium positions, but was just unable to secure a place on the podium. After a number of tight battles during the race and a drive-through penalty, applied after an error during a pit stop, Yelloly crossed the finishing line in fifth place after 275 laps.
“On the one hand, it was great to see us have such a good pace with the BMW M6 GT3 here in Suzuka and battle for a podium finish,” Farfus reported. “However, we were stuck behind other cars after the drive-through penalty and we couldn’t use this car’s speed during the final hours of the race. It is almost impossible to overtake on this circuit. That is a great shame. Nonetheless, I would like to thank BMW and the team for a strong BMW M6 GT3 and a good performance this weekend.”
The Intercontinental GT Challenge season finale takes place on 24th November in Kyalami, South Africa.