This week in the Pirelli Paddock Pass, Harry Gottsacker looks back on a breakout 2018 season that saw him emerge as a contender in Pirelli World Challenge GTS competition, plus he fills us in on his offseason training program and where his career may be headed.
How would you assess your 2018 season?
“I would definitely refer to it as a solid run. There definitely were some highs and lows, but I learned a lot. Portland is a great example.
“I didn’t get that block all the way down on Ian James, and I won’t be doing that again! Lots of stuff like that I feel like are going to prepare me for this year.
“Unfortunately I don’t have anything set up for next year, we’re still digging around and looking for someone to drive with, but fingers crossed. I’m still grinding it out at the gym and at the go-kart track every day.”
How helpful is karting for staying sharp in the offseason?
“The karting is the biggest thing I do in the offseason. It’s even harder than the workouts I do.
“It’s physical for your body, but I love doing it. You see guys like Nelson Piquet Jr. and Rubens Barrichello doing it in Florida running the winter tour all winter long, and why do you think they’re doing it?
“Fortunately I live really close to a go-kart track so I just try to burn all the rubber I can.”
What specific lessons did you learn in 2018 that will make you a better driver moving forward?
“Definitely patience is one thing. There were a few races this year where I feel like I was a little bit impatient trying to make some moves I shouldn’t have, and that may have affected the outcome of the race.
“With car control, I’m much more comfortable in the race car compared to my first few times. It’s really become second nature.”
What would you say was the highlight of your season?
“Definitely Portland, having so many family members there and being able to get that win.”
From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, do you feel like more people were paying attention to you and your accomplishments?
“For sure. Towards the end of the year, it seemed like every race we were a factor.”
You said your 2019 schedule isn’t defined, but where would you like to see yourself racing?
“I’d like to see myself with a solid teammate driving whatever I can get my hands on. I’d be open to either GT4 or GT3. I have some GT3 experience over in England and did pretty well.
“I like the attitude you bring when you get into that race car, but I love GT4 racing too. I think I’ve proved I can be a solid knife in the kitchen in a GT4 car and hopefully I can get in one again.”