It would be another lights-to-flag victory for Augusto Farfus as he managed the gap to the chasing Mercedes-AMG‘s to take victory in the FIA GT World Cup for the Team Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3.
A fourth victory for the Brazilian, who took the lead in yesterday’s Qualifying race at the Guia Circuit and hasn’t looked back since.
Farfus’ victory was more impressive considering the pressure from three Mercedes cars chasing him down in the early stages. Off the line, he had pulled in front of Raffaele Marciello using the BMW’s superior straight line speed to out-drag the race one polesitter into Lisboa.
From there, Marciello set about closing the gap to the leader and going onto the seventh lap had been planning a move. The Italian though made a mistake into Lisboa, braking too late, failing to turn in and after avoiding the barrier, fell to tenth.
Maro Engel had been keeping within two seconds of the leading duo, but with the pressure of Marciello out of the way, Farfus controlled the gap, winning by just 0.9 seconds.
Rounding out the podium was double Macau GP winner Eduardo Mortara. The Swiss driver had fallen back from the leading three at the start, but caught the leading pack as the race drew to a close, though was unable to overtake Engel.
Earl Bamber had hit the wall while chasing Mortara at the start, but did not pick up damage, eventually finishing as the fourth car in a train for the lead over the finish line.
The Porsche 911 driver in fourth had held off Robin Frijns in the early stages, though the Dutchman didn’t look close to challenging the overall leaders as Christopher Haase, on his debut, secured sixth.
Marciello would recover to ninth, but finished behind Mathieu Jaminet and Dries Vanthoor, as Alexandre Imperatori rounded out the top ten in the highest place Nissan.
“The race today wasn’t easy.” said Farfus “The track had less grip than yesterday. I knew that I couldn’t afford to make even the smallest mistake because the guys behind me were fast. I think that the battle at the top between the various brands was unusually close for this track. I’m delighted that I brought home the win.”
It would be the last race for BMW team principal Charly Lamm as he steps down from his role. Farfus also paid tribute.
“A few years ago, Charly and I lost a championship here, now we have won the World Cup. It’s also really special to Charly – I’m very grateful to him.”