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Farfus laments penalty in ‘crazy’ race

Photo by BMW AGBMW Team RBM’s Augusto Farfus believes he could have scored a podium finish in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters race at Oschersleben but for a pit-stop penalty that left him to recover to finish fifth.

The 2013 championship runner-up admits that the race was his “craziest” since joining the DTM in 2012. Rain just before the start, which intensified as the race progressed, made the second round of the season an entertaining spectacle to watch.

“That was the craziest race I have ever driven in the DTM,” said Farfus. “The conditions at the start were really perilous, and I had to battle quite hard on the prime tyres. The guys on options were far quicker. Then came the rain and the safety car periods – that allowed us to take a few risks with our strategy, which paid off.”

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Farfus finished in fifth, less than two seconds off a potential podium position, with the Brazilian lamenting a dangerous manoeuvre in the pit lane entry which cost him a chance of finishing higher up the order.

“It is a shame I was given the time penalty, which cost me five seconds,” said the top BMW driver in the race. “Otherwise I would probably have been third.

“All in all, however, I am happy. It was good to finish fifth and pick up some good points from eighth on the grid. We need to work on improving our qualifying performance if we want to challenge at the head of the field.”

Farfus’ boss at Team RBM, Bart Mampaey, added that the pit lane penalty, as well as getting held up behind former DTM champion Paul di Resta, cost the team the chance of their first podium finish of the year.

“What a race! It was clear from the start that Augusto Farfus would find it tough in the opening stages on hard tyres,” explained Mampaey. “Then we had the time penalty too. I will take another very close look at the situation in the pit lane, as I saw it differently.

“Our earlier stop then meant we were on wet-weather tyres at the right time, but just could not get past Paul di Resta, otherwise a podium might even have been within reach.

“All in all, however, we can be happy with fifth place,” added the Belgian, whose second driver Joey Hand finished in 15th. “We probably brought Joey in too late for his second pit stop. That cost him places. But hindsight is always a wonderful thing in a race like today’s.”

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