All races in the top six so far and once on the podium: For Racing Experience driver Sebastian von Gartzen, his first season in LMP3 is going really well. In 2023, he wants to compete again in the Prototype Cup Germany.
Images - Creventic
Sebastian von Gartzen (29/Butzbach) celebrates his debut in LMP3 racing in 2022. The Hessian will drive a Duqueine D08 from Racing Experience in the newly created Prototype Cup Germany, which he will share with Gary Hauser (30/LUX). Von Gartzen was enthusiastic about the 455 hp prototype right after the first metre. "Driving an LMP3 is just fun," he explains. "The race car reminds me of a formula car. There's a lot of aerodynamics, a low centre of gravity, relatively little weight and still a lot of power."
For the 29-year-old, however, entering LMP3 racing was the proverbial jump into the deep end, because in the winter his involvement in the Prototype Cup Germany had not been decided at all. "Everything was decided just before the start of the season. So I reeled off my first kilometres at the season opener in Spa-Francorchamps in April," reports the Racing Experience driver. But that couldn't stop von Gartzen from finishing in the top five twice at the race weekend in the Belgian Ardennes together with team-mate Gary Hauser. At the following event at the Nürburgring, the performance was confirmed with a fifth and sixth place. Things went even better at the Lausitzring, when the first podium was celebrated in Saturday's race, followed by another fourth place on Sunday.
"Of course I'm very happy with the results in the races," von Gartzen beams when looking back at the three race weekends so far. "But the performance in qualifying is also right. Both at the Nürburgring and at the Lausitzring, I put our Duqueine on the front row of the grid. Our form curve is rising steeply over the season." So the direction of travel for the season finale from 21 to 23 October at the Hockenheimring is already set: "We want to finish on the podium in both races and fight for third place in the overall standings."
Motorsport was already in Sebastian von Gartzen's cradle. He is the son of the well-known racing driver Jürgen von Gartzen, who has already contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice and also competed in the ADAC GT Masters. But although Sebastian accompanied his father to the racetracks as a child, he only started to go full throttle himself at the age of 14. After three years in karting, he contested his first race in Formula Renault in 2010 and followed it up with a full season in the French monoposto in 2011. After that, he initially said goodbye to circuit racing and completed the ADAC Opel Rally Cup from 2013 to 2016. After further starts in the German Rally Championship in 2017, it was time for the Nordschleife in 2018. With success: in 2019, Sebastian von Gartzen took a class victory in the 24h race at the Nürburgring in a Cup Porsche. For the 2020 season, he switched to the ADAC GT4 Germany and drove a BMW M4 GT4. After further Nordschleife races in 2021, he finally switched to the Prototype Cup Germany in 2022.
Sebastian has a very good relationship with his father Jürgen von Gartzen. "He accompanies me to the races and helps me a lot. It's nice to have a competent contact person at your side who knows what it's like to have your helmet on," says von Gartzen-Junior, who is happy about the support from the family. Father and son are also closely connected off the race track. "In his company, I am part of the management. We have two bodywork and paint shops. I manage one location," he explains. "In addition, I am an instructor. We offer driver and racetrack training."
Sebastian von Gartzen definitely wants to continue competing in the Prototype Cup Germany in 2023. "We are already in talks with potential sponsors," he confirms. "The goal is to continue racing in LMP3 and the series. Because I really like the Prototype Cup Germany."