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  • Writer's pictureVIVIEN STREBELOW

Courtney Crone joins Prototype Cup Germany with Gebhardt Motorsport

Courtney Crone will be the first female driver to enter the Prototype Cup Germany series, approaching its second season. The American racer will enter her first European campaign with Gebhardt Motorsport.

Photo by W Series

American racer Courtney Crone will become the first female driver to join the Prototype Cup Germany, as she signed with Gebhardt Motorsport for the six-event calendar season in Germany and the Netherlands. "I am happy to announce my pairing with Gebhardt Motorsports for the 2023 Prototype Cup Germany season!", Crone said. "This opportunity will be my first taste of European racing in the LMP3 and I couldn't be happier than doing it with the Gebhardt Motorsports team." "I have known of their long history in motorsports and it is an honor to race for Fritz and the team. I look forward to working with William and Fritz, who have already made me feel at home with the team", she added. Crone competed in LMP3 machinery in 2021 and 2022 and despite her young age, the Californian driver already has a wide experience in diverse motorsport championships, such as single-seaters, midget race cars and sports cars. She entered the W Series selections both in 2018 and late 2019, when she was shortlisted among the drivers that tested the Tatuus F3 car at Almeria, Spain. Among her accomplishments is the 2018 title in the Formula Car Challenge National Championship; one year later, Crone would also enter the US Formula 4 event at Austin. In 2021, she was named as one of the four women included in the IMSA Diverse Driver Development program, aimed at promoting diversity in the premier North American Sports Car championship. Crone would emerge as the winner of the scholarship in 2022, which granted the 21-year-old driver the funds to enter the inaugural edition of the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge. In the opening round at Daytona, Crone claimed her first LMP3 career podium after a really solid weekend in the #99 Duqueine D08 LMP3. She had qualified third and was P2 in Race 2. The American will now join the Prototype Cup Germany - founded in 2022 with a joint operation between ADAC and Dutch promoter Creventic and aimed at LMP3 competitions in Germany. The Prototype Cup targets a convincing year with a growing field and drivers from all over the world: teams such as Konrad Motorsport, Racing Experience, Koiranen Kemppi Motorsport and several more big names in sports car racing have already announced their participation. ADAC bought the exclusive rights for the LMP3 class in Germany from Automobile Club de l´Ouest (ACO) and, in the long term, wants to provide young drivers with opportunities in the growing market of prototypes and hypercars.

“Interest in Le Mans prototypes has been growing steadily for years, among drivers, teams and manufacturers" - ADAC sports president Dr. Gerd Ennser said at the launch of the series in 2021. "We have therefore secured the exclusive rights to the LMP3 class in order to establish the Le Mans prototypes in Germany together with our cooperation partner Creventic." "With the Prototype Cup Germany we offer drivers an exciting perspective and teams an interesting field of activity, among other things on the attractive and media-strong platform of the German GT Championship.” LMP3, the starting class for Le Mans prototypes, features cars from Adess, Duqueine, Ginetta and Ligie. The 950kg light prototypes are equipped with V8-engines from Nissan with 450hp. Michelin will be the exclusive tire supplier for the Prototype Cup Germany. The 2023 calendar will include pre-season testing at Mugello in March, followed by six events in Germany and the Netherlands. Crone is the first female driver to be announced - but hopefully more will follow before the first race takes place at Hockenheimring from 28th to 30th April.

Prototype Cup Germany 2023

22.03 - Pre-Season Test, Mugello

28.04.- 30.04.23 Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg (ADAC Racing Weekend)

26.05. - 28.05.23 Motorsport Arena Oschersleben (DTM)

23.06. - 25.06.23 Circuit Zandvoort/NL (DTM)

07.07. - 09.07.23 Norisring (DTM)

01.09 - 03.09.23 TT Circuit Assen/NL (ADAC Racing Weekend)

13.10. - 15.10.23 Nürburgring (ADAC Racing Weekend)



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