Augusto Farfus: “Interlagos… it’s going to be something very special”
Photo: WEC

Augusto Farfus: “Interlagos… it’s going to be something very special”

The Brazilian Team WRT driver reflects on his first full FIA WEC season ahead of his home race, the Rolex 6 Hours of São Paulo, round five of the 2024 season.

 The FIA WEC is back in Brazil next week for round five of the 2024 season, the Rolex 6 Hours of São Paulo (13-14 July).

It has been ten years since Interlagos’ Autódromo José Carlos Pace last hosted the pinnacle of sportscar racing. “I’m very much looking forward to it”, said Augusto Farfus to With United Autosports’ Nicolas Costa, the 40-year-old Team WRT driver is one of the two full-time 2024 WEC racers from Brazil. “Interlagos is an iconic circuit. It is going to be something very special.”

The BMW M works driver expects a “great show” in São Paulo with the majority of the WEC getting acquainted with the counterclockwise-running 4.309-long bumpy Interlagos circuit.

“It’s the shortest track of the year, so track density will be intense. The Hypercars will have a hard time there”, adds Augusto. “At this time of the year in Brazil, we can have 30°C or 10°C with rain. The weather can change very quickly, even from day to day. Teams will need to adapt and optimise. I’m really hoping to enjoy the weekend and, of course, be on the podium.”

“We didn’t know if we would have been first or last”

If Augusto’s results this season are anything to go by, there are reasons to believe the Brazilian may see his wish come true. With Sean Gelael and Darren Leung as teammates, the Curitiba-born racing driver finished on the podium already two times this season behind the wheel of Team WRT’s No. 31 BMW M4 GT3. The crew took the chequered flag at the 6 Hours of Imola, round two of the the WEC, sealing the car’s and Augusto’s first win in the series.

“Winning in Imola changed our perspective and our approach into the season”, underlines Augusto. “Before the beginning of the year, we didn’t know if we would have been first or last. I didn’t know what to expect. We left Imola with high hopes for the championship. It was a very memorable date.”

The No. 31’s progress in the LMGT3 championship was then halted at the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps when the No. 2 Cadillac collided at high speed with Sean Gelael’s BMW in the Kemmel straight. For the double points-scoring Le Mans round, Team WRT’s challenger was only beaten by the No. 91 Manthey EMA Porsche. “We went through the night, through the rain, through the damp with a clean nose, and this brought us to P2. We didn’t have the fastest car or the speed for a P2 but minimizing mistakes is probably one of the most important factors in WEC. The way it is designed, FIA WEC is a championship for perfection.”

Augusto Farfus is also in search of perfection as he’s involved in the development stage of the EVO version of the BMW M4 GT3, a car he also worked on as a BMW works driver. “We try to optimise the drivability and all the systems. We realized there were weaknesses and some areas to improve on the building of the car. It is not like we have turned it upside down as it has already won a lot of races. We just try to optimize the points we felt were the weakest of the car. I’m sure we’re going to show up next year with an even better GT3.”

An inaugural FIA Endurance Trophy for LMGT3 Teams would prove the perfect parting gift for the BMW M4 GT3 before the EVO version takes over next year. Team WRT’s No. 31 are third in the standings, only two points short of the Porsche 911-running Manthey teams at the halfway mark of the season.

“It does not change our approach”, says Augusto. “The priority is to have fun, minimise the mistakes and keep working as hard as ever. We have a strong team and a strong lineup, but the level of the championship is very high. The mix of pro, Silver and Bronze drivers brings an extra spice into the field. There are many variables and many different possible strategies. This is what I’m enjoying the most. It’s the first time I’m taking part in an entire WEC season and I’m very pleased to see how much commitment all the manufacturers, the pro drivers and the brands have put on the championship.”