Together with Racers Edge Motorsports and his team colleague Ashton Harrison, Mario Farnbacher headed to the penultimate round of the GT World Challenge America at Sebring. Only a few points separated the two Acura drivers from the championship lead before the event in Florida and ambitions were accordingly high. Sadly, a problem with the brakes thwarted Mario Farnbacher and Ashton Harrison’s hopes and prevented them from taking the standings lead.
It was clear from the start that the Acura NSX GT3 wouldn’t be quite so strong on the Sebring International Raceway and so it was important not to leave any points by the wayside and keep the fight for the title open. After two somewhat discouraging practice sessions, the qualifyings with fourth places were comparatively satisfactory.
“We have to accept the fact that we don’t belong to the favourites in Sebring,” said Mario Farnbacher after the qualifying sessions. “Fourth place for both races is close to our maximal potential on this track. The double victory at Road America completely rewound us in the title fight, however we can only look from one race to the next.”
Surprise in the first race was all the bigger: After an exciting race and several overtaking manoeuvres, Mario Farnbacher and his team colleague won. Afterwards, the 30-year-old Acura works driver was definitely more than content: “Nobody really reckoned with that. We never gave up and the team did an awesome job. We got the best out of the car throughout the entire race, so we earned the first place.”
Saturday’s delight was followed by disillusionment on Sunday: during the opening lap, Farnbacher noticed a problem with the brakes. This led to an unplanned stop and two laps delay right at the beginning of the race. Disappointment was written clearly on Farnbacher’s face: “Obviously, we can hardly hide our disappointment. It’s totally depressing when you win one race and then can’t score further points. It’s incredibly bitter because we secured the standings lead after Saturday’s win and now that’s disappeared.”
The battle for the title will be decided from 7 to 9 October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.