Mario Farnbacher was tilting at windmills at the final of the American Sports Car Championship on Road Atlanta. Despite difficult conditions and several setbacks, the Ansbacher and his team Riley Motorsports prevailed against all odds and won the championship title in the North American Endurance Cup for the first time.
“It’s absolutely amazing! This incredible feeling of holding the trophy in my hands after such a hard season”, said the very happy 25-year-old. “Our car was the heaviest in the field and we were lacking some top speed on the straights. But we still gave it everything we had, even with blunt weapons, and ended up prevailing!”
After a difficult qualifying, drizzle appeared shortly before the start of the Petit Le Mans and caused uncertainty on the grid. The Riley crew decided on a start with slicks and after just a few laps, the Mercedes AMG GT3 had caught up with the frontrunners. Mario Farnbacher took the wheel after an early pit stop and subsequently went straight into the lead.
A tyre damage at the front right wheel forced the trio Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Mario Farnbacher to make an unplanned pit stop and valuable positions were lost. The Ansbacher fought his way back to third place. However, a fluctuating tyre temperature led to an excursion into the countryside, with the radiator being blocked. After ten hours, Farnbacher crossed the finish line in fourth place, which was enough to win the title.
“It’s a pity we couldn’t finish the Petit le Mans on the podium, but after such an eventful race, we’re more than satisfied with a fourth place”, the Bavarian recalls and goes on to add: “Right now, I’d like to thank the whole team for their trust and the fantastic job they’ve done this season. We were testing our limits, giving our all and by winning the championship title, we’ve now achieved the best possible results!”
The North American Endurance Cup includes the four most important long-distance races in North America. The start of the season will be marked by the 24-hour race in Daytona, where Mario Farnbacher kicked off the season with a podium finish. The 12 hours of Sebring, the tour in Watkins Glen and the Petit Le Mans are the other stops.