BMW Motorsport has confirmed that Augusto Farfus will not race in the DTM in 2019, as the Brazilian has made a decision to focus on GT Racing with the German manufacturer.
Farfus, 35, has been a mainstay of touring car racing for the past 15 years, with the exception of the 2011 season when he remained with BMW as the brand switched from racing in the WTCC to the DTM.
Since 2012 Farfus has been part of BMW’s driver line-up in the DTM, contesting 104 races and securing four race victories and 13 podium finishes during that time.
The highlight of the Brazilian racer’s time in the DTM came in 2013, when he finished as the runner-up to eventual champion Mike Rockenfeller, claiming three wins in the process.
Farfus will move to the FIA world Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2018, campaigning a BMW M8 GTE, as well as racing the BMW M6 GT3 in other events around the world, such as the Nürburgring 24 Hours and the FIA GT World Cup in Macau.
“In 2011, Augusto Farfus was one of the first drivers we brought on board for our DTM comeback the following year – and he has established himself as a top DTM driver in his seven seasons in the series,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.
“Who could forget the 2013 season, when he was in contention for much of the year before eventually finishing as runner-up.
“We obviously respect Augusto’s decision not to continue to race in the DTM, however, he remains a valuable member of the BMW family.
“Together we have decided to integrate him even more intensely in our GT programme next year, as well as in the WEC ‘Super Season’.
“Augusto is one of the world’s very best GT racing drivers. We would like to continue our success story together, which began back in 2007, in 2019 and beyond.”
Farfus, who has made 256 race starts in touring cars across all competitions, admitted that the decision to leave touring car racing had not been an easy one for him.
“The decision to turn my back on the DTM was obviously not one that I took lightly,” said Farfus. “It is arguably the best touring car series in the world and I have always felt very comfortable in the DTM family and BMW teams.
“I have learned a lot, been able to demonstrate my speed, and even challenged for the title. It has been an amazing time.
“However, anyone who knows me also knows how much I love GT racing. I felt that it was time to embark on a new chapter.
“I am very grateful to BMW for accepting my decision and giving me the opportunity to continue to drive BMW race cars at the very highest level. I am really looking forward to 2019.”