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Pirelli Paddock Pass: Mario Farnbacher

This week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass with Honda Team Motul driver Mario Farnbacher…

Photo: Honda Pro Racing

Mario Farnbacher will be part of Honda Team Motul’s driver lineup for this weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa alongside Renger van der Zande and Bertrand Baguette.

This week in the Pirelli Paddock Pass, Farnbacher tells us what he and the team learned from their first Intercontinental GT Challenge start at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the strength of the grid, his goals for the race, and more.

What did you learn from your experience with the team in the at the California 8 Hours?

“It was pretty cool! This is my first time in the series as well. So far so good.

“We know the tire is very sensitive. It has a small window to target, but Laguna is not very comparable to this track because at Laguna you have really high tire wear and we struggled quite a bit during the race.

“The qualifying was not so much a problem, but here it’s a totally different game. For sure we have to work here to find a good setup for the race because the margin is very small with 72 cars. It’s quite tricky.”

Does your experience at Laguna help you to understand the regulations of the IGTC?

“They are very complicated, but a funny thing is every race weekend it feels like the rules are changing! It’s always a surprise when we come here.

“Something was like this at Laguna, and now it’s different, so we all need to adapt.”

What are your expectations for the race?

“For sure a Top 10, but the main goal is the podium. It’s still a long way ahead. Let’s see what happens. I’m usually a person who doesn’t look forward too much. I like to take it step by step. But I’m pretty confident.

Have you ever been a part of a grid like this?

“No! Absolutely not. It’s going to be crazy in the qualifying sessions. I think they are going to be super important. We need to stay out of trouble and put in as clean of a lap as possible for qualy.”

With all but one car being GT3 cars, how difficult will traffic be in the race?

“Let’s see. I’ve not really had fights going on so far, I’ve been trying to have a clean run. For sure we’ll have to experience this still, but we know from the past this track is very hard to overtake in general.

“I think if you have a car BoP-wise which is a little bit faster on the straightaways, this could be a little advantage. It’s hard to tell right now.”

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