Mario Farnbacher is a German racing driver who competes with a considerable success in various GT championships. Most recently, he became GTD class champion in the IMSA SportsCar Championship in 2019, driving an Acura NSX GT3 for Meyer Shank Racing.
He was born in May 1992 in Ansbach, Bavaria, in the motorsports family. His father Horst is former racer and owner of the Farnbacher Racing while Mario’s older brother Dominik is also a professional racing driver.
Dominik, Mario and Horst Farnbacher
Early success in karting, Rookie of the Year in ADAC Formula Masters
Already at the age of six, Mario appeared at the karting tracks and soon he claimed the first successes. He won numerous titles competing in the Bambini class at the regional level before he left an impression in the Junior classes from 2005 to 2009.
After graduating in karting, Farnbacher in 2010 progressed to the ADAC Formula Masters. Mario proved his talent by taking the 3rd place in the final standings after scoring three wins and a total of 12 podiums, so he was named Rookie of the Year. He stayed in the series for another season but dropped to the 6th position in the standings. At the same time, the 2011 campaign was his last in formula racing.
Mario Farnbacher, ADAC Formula Masters
GT racing debut in 2011, three seasons in the ADAC GT Masters
The same year Farnbacher earned the ADAC and Deutsche Post Speed Academy scholarship and debuted at ADAC GT Masters season finale at Hockenheim, driving for his father’s team. The kid did surprisingly well and finished 2nd in the second race of the final round.
In the following two years Mario raced full-time in the ADAC GT Masters. Driving the Farnbacher Racing’s Ferrari 458 Italia and later Porsche 911 GT3 R, he did relatively well.
In 2012, driving alongside Niclas Kentenich, Farnbacher at Red Bull Ring scored his maiden win in the series before taking the 14th position in the Drivers’ Championship.
The season of 2013 started with a debut at Sebring 12 Hours where Mario finished 34th overall. In the ADAC GT Masters, his co-driver was Philipp Frommenwiler but they didn’t win a single race. However, the results were solid and Farnbacher moved up to the 12th position in the standings.
Departure to the United States in 2014
In 2014, he participated part-time in the German GT championship but his main competitions was the IMSA SportsCar Championship, where he was driving Alex Job Racing’s Porsche.
Driving alongside Ian James, Mario in his rookie season scored two podium finishes before taking the 10th place in the GTD Drivers’ Championship.
Ian James, Alex Riberas and Mario Farnbacher after winning the 12 Hours of Sebring
Class victory at 2015 Sebring 12 Hours
The following year was better after Farnbacher scored his maiden win in the US. It was at 12 Hours of Sebring where he won the GTD class alongside James and Alex Riberas. That was followed by a win at Belle Isle, as well as with the 3rd places at Laguna Seca and Virginia International Raceway, so Mario moved up to the 4th position in the GTD Drivers’ Championship.
In 2015, Mario also debuted in the Nurburgring-based VLN championship, driving a Lexus prepared by his father’s team.
In his third and the last season with Alex Job Racing, Farnbacher continued the streak of good results. In 2016, he was teamed with Alex Riberas and they won the race at Laguna Seca. The 3rd place at Watkins Glen was another highlight of the year that Mario finished 5th in the GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Mario Farnbacher (left) was the Sebring 12h winner again in 2017
Mario also entered International GT Open, driving a Lexus RC-F GT3 of the family team alongside his brother Dominik. They scored two wins, finishing 8th in the points.
Mario Farnbacher in 2017
Racing with Acura since 2018, champion in 2019
For the 2018 IMSA Championship season, Mario changed a team again, joining Meyer Shank Racing to drive an Acura NSX GT3. He and Katherine Legge won a race at Belle Isle. He also joined 3GT Racing to drive Lexus RC F GT3 in two races.
In 2019, Mario stayed with Meyer Shank Racing, driving the #86 Acura NSX GT3 in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. He and Trent Hindman scored five podiums in eleven races, including a victory at Watkins Glen, becoming the GTD class champions.