Driver Spotlight: Mario Farnbacher
Driver, No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America
What was going through your head in the final 20 minutes of Sebring?
“Before the braking problem, I was just concentrating on consistent fast laps without any mistakes. I had Jeroen Bleekemolen coming in the Viper very quickly. All of a sudden I hit the brakes going into Turn Ten, the front right tire locked up and I realized I had a problem. In this moment when I was in the gravel I thought the chance at winning was over.
“The team radioed and said there were about four laps remaining to keep the second position. Then I looked up and saw the No. 33 Viper driving slowly on the back straight. So I was back in the game! The only problem is that I now had a big flat spot on the front right tire and no brake front brake pads left. I had to push and I had to stay on the track as the Aston Martin was still running strong. It wasn’t easy to handle because I knew that the Aston with James Davison was really coming fast. The last minutes were the longest in my life. When I saw that checkered flag I really got emotional. What a great feeling!”
Where does the Sebring victory rank in your career?
“Winning the 12 hours of Sebring is one of my biggest victories of my life, including the win at Petit Le Mans in 2012. My dad, Horst, was at the Sebring race, so that made it even more special.”
Do you think you and co-driver Ian James have a chance to fight for the GTD championship?
“I learned from this race to never give up. There is always a chance to win.”
How has it been working with Team Seattle/AJR for the second year? What are the advantages of having the continuity?
“It’s absolutely great. For me, my teammates Ian James and Alex Riberas, the Alex Job Racing team, Gabe Newell, Don Kitch and everyone at Team Seattle-The Heart of Racing. We are all a big family. For me it’s really important to be comfortable with the team and it is definitely a great operation with some very committed people!
“Having continuity in the team is a huge advantage. We have kept the basic team together since last year so we know each other really well and we want to work hard for one another. Phil Pierce, engineer, and Mike Evans our strategy guy know Porsches and have been with team for many years. Everyone really works well together and is committed to winning. They expect to win.”
What have you been able to learn from your brother in your career?
“My brother Dominik would always give me tips on new tracks, what to look out for and how to handle some of the tricky sections. He has also been a big help on how to handle the faster traffic. We are brothers and we always help each other. Family.”