Mario Farnbacher’s GT Open debut couldn’t have been more exciting. After a difficult start into the race weekend, the 24-year-old clinched a victory in the Sunday round of the fiercely competitive championship. Thanks to the win in Estoril, Portugal, the brothers Mario and Dominik Farnbacher are now leading the overall standings.
Mario Farnbacher and his family team were overjoyed after seeing the chequered flag. “I felt lighter than air”, said the very relieved Franconian. “We started for the first time with the Lexus RC-F GT3 in a completely new racing series. Over the last few days, we had to work hard to close the gap with the competition. It was a tough job, but we made it and I’m absolutely thrilled. Many thanks to the entire crew who gave us such a great car.”
Dominik Farnbacher started from a grid second and presented a faultless start phase. The older brother’s fast lap times held the second position, before he handed the Japanese sports car over to Mario Farnbacher. A perfect pit stop enabled the 24-year-old Franconian to take the lead, which he defended right up to the finish.
“Dominik did everything right in his stint and I only needed to latch on to that”, recalled the Lexus driver. “When I returned to the circuit after the stop, I had a big lead over our pursuers and despite going easy on the tyres, I kept it till the end. After our VLN victory last year, this is a hugely important success for us.”
The two Lexus drivers increased their performance from one session to the next and were rewarded with first points in Saturday’s race. Starting from eigth position, Mario Farnbacher from Lichtenau fought a close battle with competitors in the first half and paved the way for his elder brother, who took fourth in the 70-minute race.
The Lexus duo collected 23 points in the Estoril season opener and now have the overall championship lead, when they drive at the next race weekend (28th – 29th May) in Spa-Francorchamps.