Mario Farnbacher’s debut in the Pirelli World Challenge didn’t entirely go to plan. Despite quick lap times and excellent on-track battles, the Acura driver lacked that extra slice of good luck in Watkins Glen to be rewarded for his performance.
“I am delighted to have been selected to race the Acura NSX GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge”, the 26-year-old said. “It gave me great insight into the series, and we showed that the car has huge potential, even if that may not be reflected in the results.”
For the HART team and Mario Farnbacher, it was not only a maiden start in the series, it was also the first race on Pirelli tyres. The Acura driver got a handle on the rubber as the weekend progressed, improving his times from session to session. The second-fastest time on Saturday and the fastest lap in the second race were a testament to the German’s performance in the Acura NSX GT3.
Despite a performance that merited a top finish, the team were left empty-handed. Tyre damage in race one had cost the team a solid result, but the focus soon moved on to the second race on Sunday. Starting from second on the grid, Mario Farnbacher was forced into a spin in the first turn after being hit by a competitor and later had to retire as a result of the damage.
Still, there were many positives to draw from the weekend’s racing: “We were learning about the car really quickly and were competitive in both races”, Farnbacher said. “It was a fantastic job from the whole team; they gave me a perfect car to drive. Obviously we would have wished for a better result, but our second place in qualifying and the fastest lap time in Sunday’s race definitely showed what could have been possible.
Mario Farnbacher’s next race sees the young German tackle the famous Petit Le Mans race from 10 to 13 October. The 10-hour endurance classic at Road Atlanta marks the final endurance race of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.