Mario Farnbacher will suit up alongside Till Bechtolsheimer for next week’s GT-only IMSA round at Virginia International Raceway in the No.66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 GTD after regular driver Marc Miller was sidelined by an injury.
Miller suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in an accident during training. The timeline for recovery is not yet clear, but he is aiming to be ready to return for the start of the 2022 season.
“We have made continual improvements this season and I have worked hard to be physically and mentally strong in the car, so this injury is beyond frustrating,” Miller said. “I will continue to help the team prepare for VIR. Till and I will do our usual pre-event track analysis and simulator work ahead of next week’s race.
“I will be putting every ounce of effort into a speedy recovery with the support of my doctors, family and friends. I look forward to the rehabilitation process and am up for the challenge.”
Farnbacher will be reunited with the chassis in which he clinched last season’s GTD crown alongside Matt McMurray. Running with Meyer Shank Racing, Farnbacher finished on the podium six times with two class wins in 2020.
“First of all, I am glad and thankful that Andris (Laivins, team manager) thought about me, and I hope that Marc gets well quickly,” Farnbacher said. “I hope we can put on a really good performance at VIR and close out the Sprint cup season with a great result.”
Laivins said that Miller’s input will be missed, but he is optimistic that Farnbacher’s familiarity with the car will allow him to slot into the program with minimal disruption.
“Marc has put a ton of effort into making our whole program more competitive this year, and I’m positive with Mario getting back into his championship chassis we can pick right up where we left off last week in Long Beach,” he said. “Marc is a core part of the team, so I’m really sad he won’t be in the car, but we couldn’t ask for a better sub in these circumstances.”