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GOTTSACKER: Realistic Expectations for N24 Debut

BHA’s Harry Gottsacker checks in with Sportscar365 ahead of Nürburgring 24…

Photo: Supplied

It has been a while since I checked in with Sportscar365, but a lot has happened in the last month or so. We ran with Target Competition in the No. 831 Hyundai Elantra N TCR in the Nürburgring 24 Qualifying Races in April and bought home a pair of podiums!

Michael and Mason carried out the Saturday two-hour race as a duo, and it was an interesting one as it was wet to dry and from day to night.

I did two stints in the Sunday race and it was pretty straight forward and we brought home a second place finish and improved our pace throughout the race.

The car and program ran flawlessly and we really did what we needed to be prepared for 24 hours of fun.

When we set out for the first practice laps, those were the first laps for our chassis and it had that new car smell. We worked through some ergonomic stuff and have a bit more to do before we start the N24 race weekend as Taylor Hagler will join us for the big race.

The biggest difference for us in this car is that the car is run on Goodyear tires and we had a great first experience with them.

The car count for this event wasn’t nearly as big as most of the NLS races as there were a lot of competing series throughout Europe having events on the same weekend. Honestly, that helped us get accustomed to the TCR on the Nordschleife in a less hectic environment and bring home some hardware.

Photo: Supplied

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the VT2 car versus the TCR at this track. I think the TCR is way easier to drive than the production based VT2 because the suspension and braking is a lot more suited to the bumps and character of the Nürburgring.

The slower class cars are some of the real heroes of the Nordschleife! I do think the VT2 experience will help us a lot as we navigate traffic day and night in a faster race car.

We are all very excited for the event, but we have realistic expectations.

Our teammates are really Nürburgring specialists and we’re trying to learn from them and get as close to their pace as possible.

Good thing they have any in-car camera on YouTube that we can study for hours on end for all of the tricks! We want to try and do a trouble-free race and see where we stack up at the end.

If we can stay out of trouble, I think we have a good shot at bringing home a podium finish.

I am currently on the plane from Texas to Frankfurt after a successful weekend in IMSA at Laguna Seca. Mark and Mason brought home a victory and Robert and I were right on their heels for a one-two finish.

It was great to have some success in front of our Hyundai partners as it is their home race. Performance Blue looks really good around Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. We’re hoping to continue that success in Germany!

Harry Gottsacker IV drives the No. 33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR alongside Robert Wickens for Bryan Herta Autosport in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Gottsacker holds the IMPC record for the most pole positions and has won at least one race each season while competing for Bryan Herta Autosport in the TCR category.

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