This year’s DTM champion and the man who finished runner-up in the 2013 DTM Drivers’ Championship raced in the fiercely-competitive Macau GT Cup.
Macau (CN) - Just one month after the 2014 DTM season drew to a close, BMW DTM drivers Marco Wittmann (DE) and Augusto Farfus (BR) were back in action on the legendary street circuit in Macau (CN). This year’s DTM champion and the man who finished runner-up in the 2013 DTM Drivers’ Championship raced in the fiercely-competitive Macau GT Cup at this weekend’s iconic Macau Grand Prix.
They were at the wheels of two BMW Z4 GT3s, run by AAI Rstrada within the BMW Motorsport Customer Racing programme. Farfus ended the race at the demanding “Guia Circuit” in fifth place, with Wittmann coming home seventh.
I did not take any major risks at the start, but was still able to make up two places,
The Macau GT Cup has established itself as a key date on the racing calendar for GT teams around the world. Each year some of the top GT3 cars gather for one last head-to-head at the end of the motorsport season. Farfus and Wittmann were making their debuts in this particular race, but both were familiar with the narrow street circuit in Macau, having raced there in the past.
Farfus tasted success there with BMW in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (FIA WTCC), while Wittmann’s previous outing came in a Formula 3 car. Today marked the first time they had teamed up with AAI Rstrada in the BMW Z4 GT3.
Farfus and Wittmann qualified eighth and tenth. Sunday morning’s race consisted of 12 laps through the city’s narrow, crash barrier-lined roads. Farfus made a good start, climbing straight into sixth place. The Brazilian matched the pace of the leading group throughout the entire race. On lap ten he moved up another place into fifth, a position he maintained until the end of the race.
Wittmann defended tenth at the start. He then fought his way into ninth in the final third of the race, before benefitting from a crash involving two of the cars ahead of him. The German eventually crossed the finish line in seventh. Victory went to Mercedes driver Maro Engel (DE).
“I did not take any major risks at the start, but was still able to make up two places,” said Farfus. “Our race speed was very good today, unlike yesterday’s qualifying. Given the circumstances and the little experience our team has compared to the opposition, fifth place feels like a victory. Importantly, we were able to gather a lot of data for future outings. It was great to return to Macau after four years.”
Wittmann summed up his event: “That was not an easy weekend for us. The opposition has a lot of experience on this track, and we were making our first appearance here with this team. We improved in the race, compared to qualifying, and can be very happy with fifth and seventh. The main thing is that we gained a lot of experience this weekend. It was great fun coming back to Macau – the best street circuit in the world, with this fantastic atmosphere.”