The result of the first race for the final 2015 DTM weekend was not what Augusto Farfus had been hoping for when he headed to Hockenheim. After four of the race’s 26-laps he had to drive his badly damaged BMW Team RBM car back to the garage to retire.
The chilly weekend started with Augusto’s Shell BMW M4 DTM being the brand’s fastest car in free practice one on Friday afternoon. Then on Saturday morning he was the third fastest BMW in FP2, while for qualifying he was 14th and the fourth quickest BMW, admitting he could not get the performance out of the car in the session. Just how close this series is was demonstrated by the fact that he was only 0.268 seconds off the pole time set by fellow BMW DTM driver Maxime Martin.
After a good race start, at the end of lap one he was up to 11th. The premature end to his race came after he hit the stationary Mercedes of Gary Paffett that was in the middle of the track after it too had been involved in a collision. This tore off the right front of the Brazilian’s car that was too badly damaged to continue racing, so Augusto had to limp back to the pits to retire. After his short race his comment was: “For me the drivers were just way over the limit. There were so many contacts and so many crashes. I had a fantastic start and I got pushed. Then came the crash with Gary (Paffett). There was just no room for me to avoid him, so I just went into him and the race was over. However, the performance from the car was quite good.”
There is a lot for Augusto and his seven BMW Motorsport DTM teammates to fight for tomorrow in race two, as the marque still leads the Manufacturers’ Championship. Thanks to points today for Maxime Martin (3rd), Marco Wittmann (6th) and Tom Blomqvist (7th) the leader board in the championship is now BMW 583, Audi 527 and Mercedes 520. However, the Drivers’ Championship was sown up in today’s race by Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein. “Congratulations to Pascal on the title win. Tomorrow will be an important day for all of us and I know we shall all do everything we can to help BMW win the Manufacturers’ title,” said the driver from Curitiba.
The DTM cars will be back on the 4.574 kilometre track on Sunday for a warm up from 09.05 to 09.25. This is followed by qualifying for race two from 11.40 to 12.00. The 18th and final race of the 2015 season, which is 60 minutes long, starts at 15.15.