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Pirelli Paddock Pass: Harry Gottsacker

This week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass with Harry Gottsacker…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

What did it mean to you to get your first Pirelli World Challenge win at Portland?

“I feel like a large burden has been lifted from my shoulders! More importantly, it motivates the Racers Edge Motorsports team and me to finish the season strong at Utah and Watkins Glen. We want to finish strong in the SprintX and Overall championships.

“We had a very strong weekend at Portland with two poles, a second place on Saturday, and my first win on Sunday.

“It is my first full season in Pirelli World Challenge in GTS, and we’ve been close a number of times at COTA, Long Beach, and Road America.

“It is great to finally get the win for my sponsors, my family, and my team.”

What was going through your head on the final few laps as you tried to hold on to the lead?

“I was just focused on bringing it home. We had a great pit stop, and were able to use the undercut to get a nice gap.

“I was trying to put in consistent laps and maintain the gap to ensure I wouldn’t feel any attack at the end of the race.

“We’re working every day to improve and work on what we’ve learned from the day before. I made a small mistake in traffic that gave Ian James an opportunity to get around me on Saturday. I wasn’t making that mistake again!”

How much of an adjustment has it taken for you to get used to the SIN R1 GT4 and how does it compare to other cars you have driven?

“The Racers Edge Motorsports team put together a testing plan during the off season that has helped me get up to speed with the car.

“They have a wealth of knowledge on the SIN R1 GT4 and the series, which is so valuable to a young driver. The car didn’t take a lot of adjustment for me because the car is very well sorted and user friendly.

“I feel like the car has a nice balance of cornering speed and power and other car I’ve driven before, like the Ginetta G55 GT4, had one or the other.

“The biggest adjustment for me has been learning to utilize the driver tools inside the car to maximize our performance. The engineers have been helping me with that every time we’re on track.”

Do you find driving solo on SprintX weekends to be an advantage? A disadvantage? What led you to decide to race without a co-driver?

“Driving solo on the SprintX weekends is helpful for a young driver, as the track time is very valuable.

“It helps to speed up my development to race against the professional and amateur drivers in SprintX, and this is why I took the opportunity to race alone.

“We have a weight penalty due to driving solo, which has an impact on the handling of the car and the tire wear.

“The other teams get to put in a fresh driver at the stop, and I’ve still got another half of the race to go. I know the track conditions and the car from the first stint, so it balances itself out.”

How far along are you on putting your plans together for 2019?

“We still have plenty of racing left to do in 2018! We’re working on a couple of special events later in the year, like the SKUSA Supernationals in Las Vegas.

“It is one of the largest karting races in the world that happens every year. I feel like karting is one of the best training tools for a professional driver and look forward to this event every year.

“It has been humbling to have interest in my plans for next year due to our strong performances this season. We’ve found a home in the Pirelli World Challenge and with Racers Edge Motorsports.

“We’re hoping to stay there next season, and we’re also working on some other plans that could help me with my goal of racing in the world’s best endurance races.”

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