It was a spectacular first ever DTM night race that took place on Saturday night at Misano, Italy. Augusto Farfus crossed the line in 11th place – but a top position was definitely possible, had there not been a safety car period that destroyed Augusto and BMW Team RMG’s strategy.
Misano on the Adriatic coast in August normally means sunny and hot summer weather, but just in time for DTM’s first ever visit to the track, thunder storms resulted in a wet qualifying on Saturday evening. Augusto qualified ninth in his Shell BMW M4 DTM, being the second fastest BMW driver. For the race, the rain had stopped but the track was still wet in places. While many drivers opted for wet tyres to complete their first stint, Augusto and his team chose slicks. In the early laps, he dropped positions but when the track dried and the others came in to change tyres, he stormed to the front and took the lead.
Augusto was soon able to build a gap, and even after his pit stop would have remained in the top position if the race had gone on incident free. However on lap 12, an accident caused a safety car period and the field bunched together again. Augusto kept the lead after the re-start and tried to storm away, but another safety car followed that put an end to the strategy working. When he pitted, he dropped back and in the end he took the chequered flag in 11th.
“We had a super strong pace, a good strategy, it was a good call from the team – but no luck,” Augusto summed up after the race. “But tomorrow is a new day and we will attack again.”
Sunday’s track action at Misano will begin with the third free practice session at 16:40 local time, the qualifying will take place from 20:00 to 20:20. The race itself will start at 22:30.