Harry Gottsacker says he’s back at home plying his trade in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS category after spending much of the early part of the season competing in British GT.
After contesting the first two races of the PWC season in St. Pete, the 18-year-old, who celebrated a birthday on Friday, turned his attention to the British GT championship, driving a Ginetta G55 GT3 for Century Motorsport.
Plagued by mechanical gremlins in his three starts in the U.K. and eager to move on from the taxing trans-Atlantic flights, he made his return stateside driving a GT4 Ginetta G55 with the Performance Motorsports Group squad at Road America and took pole and a third place finish in Race 1 this weekend at Mid-Ohio.
While he didn’t get the results he was hoping for in British GT, Gottsacker said the experience was worthwhile because it made him a better driver.
“Probably one of the biggest [challenges] for me was just sitting on that plane, and then getting over there and only running one race, and half the time we’d break down,” Gottsacker told Sportscar365.
“The drivers over there were really good and I upped my game to keep up with them, and it helped me out with a lot of this stuff too.
“We learned so much, it’s really hard to explain. Just getting into a bigger, faster version of what we’re running here today helped me out quite a bit.
“Working with all of the engineers over there, I learned a lot of tricks on the dashboard, little computer stuff, looking at data, things like that.
“Really when we came back here and jumped into the GT4 Ginetta it was a piece of cake. I kind of miss the GT3 right now, but hopefully we can keep doing the GT4 stuff over here and get a win.”
Gottsacker said the Texas-based team is definitely planning on racing at its home track at Circuit of The Americas later this season with an eye on also entering the races at Sonoma and Laguna Seca.
From there, it’s about building the foundation for his racing future which could include his first full PWC season, in addition to karting and a possible debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“I always race go-karts with Champion Racing Intrepid,” he said. “That’s my hobby, it’s fun. But I’d like to do a full season in something soon.
“We’ve been jumping around [between series] quite a bit and that’s kind of messed me up a little bit, but I think next year will be the year to do a full PWC season. Whether it’s in GT3 or GT4, we’ll see.
“And I really want to run the Daytona 24. I know we’re kind of working on it a little bit for next year or the year after, not sure yet. We’ve just got to try to find a little money to help us out, but we can do it.”
Gottsacker said he expects his relationship with Ginetta to continue for any potential PWC venture next year, adding the British constructor has been helpful in providing on-site support for the team.
The young Texan said he’d love to return to racing in Europe if the opportunity arose, but made it clear he has enjoyed his return to PWC.
“It’s like coming home,” he said. “Every single race we always have plenty of family members coming out and supporting me.
“Getting third today, pole yesterday, brings everyone such a positive attitude. It’s so much fun.”