Gottsacker and Hanratty finish in fourth position at Road Atlantaadmin
Harry Gottsacker made his IMSA Prototype Challenge debut in the Extreme Speed Motorsports #3 Ligier JS P3 at the Petit Le Mans weekend on October 10th to 13th. Not only was it Harry’s debut in Prototype Challenge, but it was Harry’s first IMSA race of 2018 and his first time at the Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, GA.
The ESM team decided that Harry would qualify the Protein Water/VP Racing Fuels LMP3 car for Friday’s 1 hour and 45 minute race. Despite limited running due to weather conditions throughout practice, Harry was able to qualify the car in 6th position of 17 competitors in the LMP3 class. He was able to continually improve throughout the session and set his fastest lap on his final lap of Road Atlanta.
As the qualifying driver, Harry would start the race from 6th position and immediately begin putting pressure on the the 40 of David Grant. Harry would take over the 5th position from Grant on Lap 2 and they would battle throughout the stint. Following a long double yellow, Harry brought the car into the pits in 6th position to hand over to Max Hanratty to finish the race. As Harry entered his pit box, a car that was a lap down overshot his pit box and was parked part of the way in the ESM pit spot preventing Harry from entering. The crew had to push Harry’s car back into the pit box and it cost the team valuable seconds during the 4 minute mandatory pit stop.
As pit stops cycled out, Max Hanratty found himself in the 11th position and set sail to gain lost ground. As he set fast laps for the car, Max was able to regain positions in the hopes that a yellow flag would close up the field. Those hopes became reality with 6 laps to go as he was in 4th place. Max would charge through the lapped cars and find himself finishing in 4th, less than a second off the podium.
Following the race Harry said, “I would like to thank Extreme Speed Motorsports, Scott Sharp, and my co-driver Max Hanratty for the opportunity. The team worked hard and gave us an excellent car that could fight for the win. Even though we were a bit unlucky during the pit stop, we fought back to get back to 4th at the end. This would not be possible without the support of Probalance Protein Water, VP Racing Fuels, HRX Bespoke Racewear, Bell Helmets, Javelina Harley-Davidson, and all of my supporters.”