Mario Farnbacher was on the road in Virginia from 17 to 19 June. The 30-year-old was competing in the season’s fifth and sixth races against around 20 GT3 opponents, aiming to collect further points in the third event of the GT World Challenge America. Together with Racers Edge Motorsports and team colleague Ashton Harrison, he was hoping to repeat the positive results of the first two race weekends.
As Farnbacher and Harrison couldn’t participate in the test days, the Acura duo first had to get a feel for the track during the practice sessions. Harrison qualified for the first race in fifth with the Acura NSX GT3 #93, while Farnbacher clinched pole for race two. “It was good to see we’re competitive, which is not what we were initially expecting. The team did everything in their power to support us”, said the Ansbach-born driver.
However, the races didn’t go as hoped: After a good start phase, Harrison was involved in a collision after a full-course yellow. This not only meant an early ending for the first race, but also a great deal of work for the crew. “The car was badly damaged, luckily Rick Ware Racing was nearby and helped us out with spare parts”, the Acura works-driver explained afterwards. “It’s not a given that another team is so helpful in view of a forthcoming event. It was only thanks to them that we could participate in the second race.”
Starting the second race from pole, Farnbacher developed a good lead. After the driver change, the German-American duo were still in the lead for a long time, until an error led to the loss of several positions. Harrison finally crossed the finish line with an overall tenth, which meant a sixth in the Pro-Am classification.
“Of course, it’s a shame we’re not the glorious victors after all, but those errors are part of the parcel. It’s happened to me too”, Farnbacher summarized. “Sometimes you only gain experience. I’m quite sure, that sooner or later our work will pay off. There are several races still to come, so we have further opportunities to prove our worth.”
There’ll be another chance for top results from 22 to 24 July, when the GT World Challenge America is guesting in Watkins Glen. Farnbacher himself will be competing on 26 June at the same spot in his next race – the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship “Six Hours of the Glen”.