Meyer Shank Racing’s Mario Farnbacher says he’s even more hungry to get one over Lexus in the GT Daytona title fight after narrowly missing out on class victory at Road America.
Farnbacher nearly gave the Acura squad its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win of the season two weeks ago, benefiting from heavy rain conditions that initially suited his Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
The German, who shares the car with Matt McMurry, made a daring pass around the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Townsend Bell on the outside of Canada Corner with just minutes left on the clock, only to hydroplane off track at the Kink on the following lap.
Farnbacher credited team co-owner Mike Shank for making the right call on tires at the time, which put him in position to fight for the class win.
“It was after my second pit stop and we were on slick tires and on my third lap I had a few drops [of rain] and I had a huge conversation with Mike on the road, ‘For sure it’s one more lap on slicks’,” recalled Farnbacher.
“Luckily he convinced me to pit on this lap and Alvaro [Parente] was on the same thoughts as me and it would have ended up being the wrong call.
“Thanks to the good call of the rain tires when I left the pits with wet tires it was lots of hydroplaning.
“The restart was pretty quick, which was good for us, but at that time I didn’t know we had a radio problem.
“I didn’t know I passed TBell and I just kept pushing and it was raining way more than expected.
“I basically hydroplaned off the track and that’s the reason why TBell came back in front of me again and unfortunately the FCY got called again and there was no opportunity to go back to first again.”
The Acura duo of Farnbacher and McMurry are the closest challengers to Lexus in the GTD standings, with the pair of AVS entries having combined to win every race since IMSA’s season restart in July.
Only four points separate the top three in GTD, a gap Farnbacher is hungry to put in his favor at this weekend’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.
“It’s very important to be consistent in this championship and they are more consistent this year,” he said of Lexus. “This was one of the weakest points for them last year because they always had ups and downs.
“It’s not a big surprise, they’re doing a good job so they get rewarded so we have to push a bit more to maybe push them down the thrown for the middle spot on the podium.
“Every team tries to do the best job they can and hopefully this weekend we can be the persons to be in the middle but the main target for us at the moment is to score as much points as possible.”