Macau Grand Prix 2018 results: Augusto Farfus takes GT World Cup as Charly Lamm savours ‘dream come true’ on farewell
- Brazilian holds off Mercedes pair of Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara
- BMW Team Schnitzer boss Charly Lamm gets fairy tale send-off
Augusto Farfus gave BMW Team Schnitzer boss Charly Lamm the perfect send-off by winning the GT World Cup at the Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Brazilian, who had the words “Thank you Charlie” written on the livery of his BMW M6 GT3, held on from pole to finish ahead of Maro Engel and “Mr Macau” Edoarda Mortara, the 2017 champion.
The Mercedes-AMG pair’s teammate Raffaele Marciello was pushing Farfus from second place but missed a turn and kissed a barrier, eventually finishing ninth.
“Today it’s exactly 29 years since I started racing in 1990,” Farfus, 35, told a press conference. “On November 18, my dad gave me a motorcycle and I did my first race in Brazil, not knowing where my career would go.
“Now 29 years later I win a World Cup, it’s very special and very emotional. Thanks to everyone who has been with me on this journey. Thanks to Charlie – this has special meaning.”
Lamm has been involved with Schnitzer since the 1970s but will be stepping back next year and handing over the reigns as team principal.
“It’s like a dream come true, this place is magic,” he said. “The races they hold every year are one of the highlights of the calendar.
“Motor racing is like a drug, I got addicted from 1971 when I was helping Team Schnitzer. From then it has been my passion in life since 1981 when I finished university.
“I’m extremely glad for what I experienced, moments like today are what you strive for.
“I will come as a tourist next year – this seems to be quite a good holiday spot, and I know everything so I’ll be the tour guide.”
It was Farfus’ first full success in Macau since winning the Guia Race in 2009, having won the qualification race on Saturday by passing Marciello.
“I’m running out of words,” he said. “We made a plan together and we executed it our best, it’s not every time we manage that. We have a very small team here.
“I struggled more to keep up in the mountain, I knew I couldn’t leave any room because the guys behind me were fast.”
BMW is now the third manufacturer to have won the race since it became the GT World Cup. Engel won the inaugural race for Mercedes in 2015, with Laurens Vanthoor winning for Audi a year later before Mortara’s victory last time out.
“It was the closest battle we’ve ever seen here in Macau with different brands closing the gaps,” Farfus said. “I have a feeling there were probably six cars within eight or nine seconds.
“Thanks to the FIA and everyone involved because we gave an extremely good show. These guys were always on my tail so I’m glad we brought it home.”
Engel tried every trick in the book that he could think of to pass Farfus – even flashing his lights at his rival in the closing stages – but there was nothing he could do.
“I was waving at him but he didn’t wave back so that’s why I flashed him,” Engel joked. “No, I tried everything.”
“There wasn’t any realistic chance,” he added. “I gave it everything I had at the beginning of the race. I tried to put pressure on Augusto, see how that pans out.
“When Marciello had his unfortunate mistake, I just pushed as hard as I could. Down on the straight there’s no chance of thinking about it, and up on the mountain he [Farfus] drove really well.
“I did think we were quicker, especially in the second part of the race, but they [BMW] had the lead. And it is a bit of a fairy tale ending for Charlie so congratulations to them.”
— BMW Motorsport (@BMWMotorsport) November 18, 2018
Mortara has had six wins in Macau but felt lucky just to finish Sunday’s race after flirting with the barriers a couple of times.
“I don’t know how I’m here [at the press conference], I almost crashed twice big time,” he said, before accidentally knocking his table microphone over. “Another crash,” he remarked.
“I thought I was in the wall. I don’t know how I survived that. I was just pushing flat out since FP1. We could see we were missing quite a lot of top speed, going down and down and down in the downforce. The car was very difficult to drive, it was very easy to do mistakes.
“I was pushing until a certain point and then I was cruising around because you see the situation in front of you. I didn’t think possible to overtake cars in front and it would’ve been very risky.
“In the end today was the best we could’ve achieved. I’m happy to be on the podium after this weekend. After P1 I was quite pessimistic we could be up here but congratulations to Augusto, to Charlie, they’ve done a good job, they deserve it.”