Luca Pirri and Jurgen von Gartzen at the wheel of a Matech Ford GT ! Notwithstanding the fact that the European FIA GT3 championship only kicks off in Silverstone at the end of April, people and cars are already being readied for this first...
Luca Pirri and Jurgen von Gartzen at the wheel of a Matech Ford GT !
Notwithstanding the fact that the European FIA GT3 championship only kicks off in Silverstone at the end of April, people and cars are already being readied for this first round. It is in Matech's new infrastructures, close to the Nurburgring, that the Ford GT's are being prepared, and the Swiss team has just officially announced its first driver-pairing. The Italian Luca Pirri and the German Jurgen von Gartzen will share one of the cars and bear the Matech GT Racing banner throughout the entire season.
And the least one can say or write is that this duo is far from being unknown on the European FIA GT3 scene. At the wheel of a Corvette, Pirri and von Gartzen fought for the title right through the final round of 2007, eventually clinching the title of vice- champions. Highly impressed by the Ford GT's potential, they decided to opt for a change in 2008, and privilege the make sporting the blue oval offered by Matech. And after the silver medal won last year, both drivers are obviously going for the gold this season.
Born in 1958, the German Jurgen von Gartzen boasts one of the most impressive CVs of the paddock. Having started in single-seater racing in the German Opel Lotus Formula championship, he later turned to the GT scene, competing in the German Porsche Carrera Cup and the ADAC GT Cup, just to name a few. After winning 2 vice- champion titles in a row in the Porsche Supercup featuring the opening of the F1 Grand Prix in 1995 and 1996, he moved on to the FIA GT championship and took even part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since his 2006 debut in FIA GT3, von Gartzen has been racing Corvettes allowing him to grab 3 victories, of which Brno and Dubai last season. It is therefore with the firm ambition of doing even better that this sports marketing agency manager came knocking on Matech's door, fully determined on taming one of the team's Ford GT's.
Jurgen's younger teammate, Luca Pirri, was born in 1974 in Rome. "Action" is what keeps this man going! Whether it is kick-boxing, ice-hockey, surfing, or acrobatic gliding, nothing seems to hold him down. Pirri started racing in FIA GT3 back in 2006, briefly driving an Ascari before teaming up with Jurgen von Gartzen on Corvette. Since then this duo has been inseparable, and after last season's excellent performance, he is also aiming for the top rankings.
"Jurgen von Gartzen and Luca Pirri joining Matech means a pretty powerful addition to the team", Martin Bartek, the man in charge of the Swiss team, comments. "Starting as early as next week, during the tests in Monza, they'll be able to discover the full potential of a Ford GT that has considerably evolved since the last season. I'm convinced they will get the most out of it. Building on this driver-pairing's pronounced taste for champagne, as proven during the 2007 FIA GT3 European Championship, our team is confident to see top performances right from the kick-off in Silverstone..."
Matech will shortly unveil its other driver-pairings, as well as more details about its 2008 racing program, a menu which will definitely emphasise the GT3 category.