Augusto Farfus, Martin Tomczyk, and Nick Yelloly in the #42 BMW Team Schnitzer M6 GT3 finished fifth in the Intercontinental GT Challenge 10 Hours of Suzuka on August 25. The #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 driven by Nick Catsburg, Christian Krognes, and Mikkel Jensen was retired after it was hit by another car.
Farfus put the #42 car on the pole, and Catsburg qualified #34 third. The two BMWs led early in the race, with Farfus first and Catsburg second. The cars ran first and second through the first round of pit stops.
In the second hour the Walkenhorst car was hit; the team attempted to make repairs, but the car had to be retired. While #42 fell out of the lead, it remained among the front runners until it had to serve a drive-through penalty for a pit stop that did not meet the minimum required time. The penalty took the car out of contention for a podium finish.
Farfus said, “On the one hand, it was great to see us have such a good pace with the BMW M6 GT3 here in Suzuka and battle for a podium finish. However, we were stuck behind other cars after the drive-through penalty and we couldn’t deploy this car’s speed during the final hours of the race. It is almost impossible to overtake on this circuit. That is a great shame. Nonetheless, I would like to thank BMW and the team for a strong BMW M6 GT3 and a good performance this weekend.”
The Suzuka race was the fourth in the five-race IGTC season. Before Suzuka the series opened at Bathurst in Australia in February, continued at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in March, and ran at Spa in Belgium during July. The season will conclude with the Nine hours of Kyalami in South Africa this November.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW Motorsport.]