Daytona 24 Hours: Hopes of top finish dashed

Mario Farnbacher kicked off his 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the 24 Hours of Daytona, but left Florida empty-handed. The reigning drivers’ champion in the GTD class and his teammates from Meyer Shank Racing could only manage P10 after suffering numerous difficulties over the course of the traditional curtain-raiser to the US sportscar season.

Free practice provided a taste of what was to come, with the Acura NSX GT3 EVO struggling to find pace compared to rival cars in the GTD class. After qualifying in P9, Farnbacher and his teammates were lacking that little slice of luck in the race to move through the field. Technical issues on the car also set the team back, with a long pit stop required for repairs on a broken splitter during the night.

“It was a race to forget for us in Daytona,” a disappointed Farnbacher said. “The crew gave their all and my teammates and I were in great form, and I think we all deserved a better result.”

“Unfortunately we were lacking grip and had problems with the car’s balance, which also meant that we didn’t have the pace to keep up with the front-runners. When our splitter failed and we had to pit, it was clear that we would lose a lot of time.”

The second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship also takes place in Florida: the 12 Hours of Sebring from 18 to 21 March. Before that Farnbacher will be competing in the first round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge season in Australia. The 27-year-old will be in action for Honda Racing Team JAS at the Bathurst 12 Hours from 31 January to 2 February.

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