Augusto Farfus hoped to add another big race win to his recent GT World Cup and Daytona 24 Hour successes, as he returned to FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) duties for BMW Team MTEK at the inaugural 1000 Miles of Sebring. Despite a strong start and race lead, he had to settle for seventh.
The sixth round of the WEC ‘Super Season’ shared the same race weekend as the IMSA Sebring 12 Hours, making it a huge celebration of the world’s greatest sportscar racers, teams and manufacturers. After a successful test session last weekend, Farfus and his team-mates António Félix Da Costa and Bruno Spengler began the very hot race week in good spirits.
“The weather was almost unbearable, and it was extremely tough for the team, especially at the test, but they all remained focussed and hard-working, and we started race week in a good place,” said the BMW factory driver from Curitiba.
Practice went well and the team felt confident ahead of qualifying. After Augusto and team-mate Félix Da Costa both set their qualifying lap times, they had the fourth fastest average of the 11 GTE Pro entries and on Friday afternoon lined-up on the second row of the grid.
Augusto started the eight-hour race and impressed from the moment the lights went out. Within his first stint, the Brazilian had climbed through the pack and taken the class lead of the FIA world championship race.
“My first stint was great, and we really had the car hooked-up nicely,” he said. “I handed over to my team-mates and they both did a fantastic job, but the pace of the car just seemed to drop off in the middle of the race. We fought so hard to make up for our lost time, but we just couldn’t – we need to have a look into what happened.”
After 1000 miles of pushing hard, Farfus and the #82 BMW M8 GTE crew had to settle for seventh place but were all happy to celebrate with their team-mates from the #81 car, who finished second.
“Congratulations to everyone at BMW Team MTEK for the podium. The drivers and crew all did a mega job. Let’s aim to get two more trophies at the next WEC round at Spa.”
Farfus next races in the Intercontinental GT Challenge at Laguna Seca with BMW Team Schnitzer and the BMW M6 GT3 in just two weeks time (30th to 31st March).