Sizzling battle at season opener

The incredible heat at the Intercontinental GT Challenge season opener posed a huge challenge for Mario Farnbacher and the Honda Racing team JAS. The Ansbach native’s debut in Down Under Bathurst didn’t turn out to be a lucky one and due to technical issues, he and his teammates Renger van der Zande and Dane Cameron, had to retire early with the NSX GT3 EVO.

“We had a difficult weekend. Apart from Renger, none of us have previous experience on the Mount Panorama Circuit”, said Farnbacher. “The track is extremely demanding and absolutely relentless when it comes to making an error. But at the same time, it’s great fun to drive.”

Temperatures around 35 degrees and higher at the Australian Bathurst 12 Hour demanded everything from drivers and cars. However, the team succeeded in improving from lap to lap during the practice sessions on the unfamiliar circuit. The trio also increased their pace in the race. Farnbacher and his teammates started from 24th on the grid and made good progress, fighting forwards to twelfth position. Tyre damage and electronic issues in the third hour then forced the Honda squad to lose several laps.

“Unfortunately, the repair phase cost us a lot of time, but we recovered lost ground afterwards and pushed our way back towards the top 20. It’s all the more frustrating that we came out without a result”, the 27-year-old explained after the race.

With three hours remaining, the Honda Racing Team JAS had to face technical problems yet again and finally had to retire the Honda NSX GT3 EVO #30 prematurely.

The second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge season, the legendary Total 24 Hours of Spa, takes place from 23 to 26 July. Farnbacher however, will be continuing to the US for the second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race weekend at the Sebring International Raceway from 18 to 21 March.

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