Last April I wrote an article about why I thought that the brand new Saleen Cup GT racing series could be an excellent choice for young drivers and that they should look into it (Why Young Drivers Should Consider the New Saleen Cup in their Career Plans). As the season just recently came to a close with a thrilling finale in Las Vegas, I thought it only appropriate to chat with the Youth Class winner Carter Fartuch about his impressions of the series, how the season played out and his plans for the future.
Motorsport Prospects: How did you get started in racing?
Carter Fartuch: I got started in racing by going to a local indoor go kart track where I entered a junior league that I was very nervous to do. I ended up winning every race and the championship. I then progressed to outdoor karting, had much success and then kept progressing through the ranks of the racing world.
MP: Why did you pick the Saleen Cup?
CF: I picked the Saleen Cup because I have always loved single make, spec series like the Saleen Cup and luckily I knew the Series Manager who had mentioned to me about this awesome new series called the Saleen Cup and I became very intrigued. I loved the format, the cars, and the tracks they were going to so I tried my best to make it into that series. Also, knowing Saleen’s history in racing and the automotive industry, it was a no-brainer.
MP: How competitive was the grid?
CF:The grid was extremely competitive. We had drivers who had won the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona, won championships in IMSA, SRO, and Europe, As well as currently race in numerous GT3 and LMP3 racecars throughout the world.
MP: How did you enjoy racing the car?
CF: To be honest, the cars were an absolute blast to drive. Once they were all sorted, the speed, the engineering, and the overall racing we had with the cars was exceptional.
MP: Your prize for winning the championship is a funded drive in GT4 next year. What are your expectations?
CF: My expectations are the same as I have every year in any car. To go and win races and a championship. It will be our first time as a brand with this new car in the GT4 ranks and I don’t see anything that could keep us from achieving those same goals of a championship. We’ll give it our everything as a team and I’ll give it my all to get the best result for the team.
MP: What is your long-term plan? To remain in sports cars?
CF: My long-term plan is to keep racing and giving my all in any car that I get a chance in. Whether it be in a Sports car, Prototype, Stock Car, or hell, even a shopping cart, I’ll be pushing to be successful in it all.
MP: Would you recommend the Saleen Cup to other young drivers?
CF: Yes, absolutely! It is a great platform for any young driver to make a name for themselves and to drive against some incredible competition all while learning from the driver coaches, engineers, and crew chiefs.
MP: What is the most important thing that you learned this season?
CF: The most important thing that I learned this season is to be patient and never give up. There was a lot of setbacks this season that at times, made me feel like a championship was out of reach for me. I never stopped believing and kept patient and it all worked out in the best possible way in the end.
MP: How do you fund your racing? How involved are you in sponsorship acquisition?
CF: To be completely honest with you, it has been very hard for me to fund my racing. I don’t come from a wealthy background at all like most of the racing world does, so it has been a struggle thus far. I have been lucky enough and blessed enough to have put myself in the right place at the right time and met some incredible people that have given me chances. My parents have been incredibly supportive with what they had and for everyone that has helped me get to where I am now, I am forever grateful. Finding sponsorship has been a struggle as well because that is a full-time job. I have a current job as well as doing a lot of Driver coaching so having the time to get the right sponsors has been difficult, but I’ve been able to grab a few along the way.
MP: Who are some of your racing heroes?
CF: Some of my racing heroes include the likes of Ayrton Senna, Jeff Gordon, and Lewis Hamilton. They have all shaped the racing world in some way and have proven that they were the best in whatever they drove. There are many quotes from these drivers that I follow each and every day as well and have helped me in my racing endeavors.
The 2020 edition of the Saleen Cup will be back utilizing its successful “arrive and drive” format. Following SRO North America, the 7 race weekend schedule will consist of two races per weekend at some of the most iconic race tracks in North America. Once again, the winners of the two classes (Young and Pro-Am), will be awarded a fully funded seat in the Saleen 1 GT4 race car to compete in the 2021 Pirelli GT4 America championship.
For more information on the Saleen Cup go to https://www.saleen.com/saleen-cup/.