For a long time, Mario Farnbacher and Meyer Shank Racing were steering towards another top result at the Petit Le Mans. Unfortunately, a collision two and a half hours before the finish, threw the Acura driver and his teammates Matt McMurry and Shinya Michimi back to tenth place. After eight rounds of the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship, Farnbacher and McMurry rank fourth in the standings.
“It’s really frustrating. For the third time, we’ve lost a top placement because of a collision”, the 28-year-old explained. “That’s not easy to swallow. Especially, as we started from pole and obviously had set ourselves high targets for the race.”
Starting position for the ten-hour race at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta couldn’t have been better: Michimi’s 1:19.291 lap time in the Acura NSX GT3 Evo #86 secured him pole position.
Thanks to a solid track performance and impressive work by the pit crew, the Acura trio was continually battling to take the helm, and with just 20 laps to go, Farnbacher grabbed the lead and went on to create a 25-second leading edge over the competition.
However, in the end, the possible top result had turned into a tenth place. A collision resulted in a damaged rear suspension and the ensuing repair stop dashed their hopes of a podium finish.
“The pit crew did an awesome job, not only at the stops but with the repairs. We have a lot to thank them for”, the Acura driver said. “It’s bitter though, that it wasn’t enough to get us onto the rostrum. But we won’t give up, the championship hasn’t been decided yet.”
Farnbacher and McMurry are fourth in the GTD-class standings and have a total of 221 points. With two races remaining, the duo is seven points behind the leader.
The Franconian’s next opportunity for closing the gap is on 1 November in Laguna Seca. But before, Farnbacher continues straight on to the third race of the Intercontinental GT Challenge from 22 to 25 October in Spa, Belgium. He’ll be racing again in Team Honda Racing’s NSX GT3 Evo on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps with Renger van der Zande and Dane Cameron.