Augusto Farfus arrived in PURE ETCR – the series that this year evolves into the FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup – as one of the sure-fire title favourites.
It’s the least you’d have expected from a man who had been the chief development driver on Hyundai Motorsport N’s Veloster N ETCR for more than a year and a driver who had completed more laps in a car in definitive PURE ETCR spec than any other.
And yet for the touring car and GT racing heavyweight, the year was one of pure frustration as he hopped from misfortune to misfortune that effectively put him out of the fight for the world’s first all-electric touring car title by the summer.
What if he hadn’t suffered a puncture while leading DHL SuperFinal A at the Vallelunga season-opener, and lost a likely victory that probably would have made him King of the Weekend?
What if he had not been penalised points for an aggressive move that pushed Mattias Ekström’s CUPRA e-Racer off the track during Round 2 in Hungary?
And what if he hadn’t had to play the role of dutiful team-mate to Jean-Karl Vernay at the season-finale in France?
These factors added to Hyundai’s low point (their words) – a relative non-performance on the streets of Copenhagen where traction issues affected all four drivers – all added to the Curitiba native’s frustrating year, costing him a certain 60 points and with it, a shot at the crown.
Yet the speed was so obviously in evidence. Nine Battle wins was as many as title winner Ekström and exceeded only by Mikel Azcona. Plus Farfus was the only driver all season to win more than one TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy.
His sixth place in the standings is probably the least reflective of all the drivers who completed the full season. Should he be back for another go as the series evolves into the FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup, he’s going to be one to watch undoubtedly.