Peter Argetsinger

Obituary of Peter O. Argetsinger

Peter O. Argetsinger, 69, of Sebring, Florida and Watkins Glen, New York, died peacefully on February 6 at his upstate New York home, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by Sjoukje Schipstra, his beloved wife of 45 years, and his devoted children Kimberley Argetsinger of New York City and J.C.G. Argetsinger of Los Angeles. Pete pursued a 47-year career as a professional road racing driver until his health failed last fall. He had successes on the world's major courses, initially in Europe and then in the US and South America. Starting with Formula Ford racing in Germany, he eventually won the British Championship of this series, moving to Formula Three, sports cars, sedans, as well as IMSA and Daytona prototypes. Up until his final days, he was sought after for the 2020 season as a driver and coach. Pete was a well-known figure in racing circles here and abroad, was inducted into the Road Racing Drivers' Association, and served on the governing council of the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen. Based on his extensive knowledge and experience, Pete was asked to design several race tracks. A popular speaker, he was a gifted and witty raconteur. Born to Cameron and Jean Argetsinger, February 22, 1950 in Youngstown, Ohio, Pete grew up in Burdett, New York, and graduated from Watkins Glen High School. His father founded and organized the Watkins Glen Grand Prix races, exposing Pete to racing at an early age. Pete started driving at the age of five on his dad's lap in a Packard 400. This naturally led to go-carting. As a teenager, he and his brothers would wait until the late hours to go out and drive the famed Glen track in their father's fast sports cars and the MG TF 1500 Pete bought for $200 when he was sixteen. Pete still owned and took his MG out on the original track until this last year. A natural athlete from birth, Pete was captain of his high school football team when he met the love of his life, Sjoukje, an exchange student from the Netherlands who was the homecoming queen. The next year, Pete was off to Gettysburg College and Sjoukje to university in the Netherlands. Improbably, Pete managed to travel frequently to Holland during his college years, and moved to Europe following his graduation. The couple married in 1974 and located in Germany. Pete was named the German Rookie of the Year Formula Ford 1974. He set the series' fastest lap at the famous Hockenheimring and helped his Team Royale clinch the European FF Title. After numerous wins, Pete and Sjoukje moved to England where Pete captured the 1980 British Formula Ford Championship and was voted British Driver of the Year (BRSCC). In the off season, Pete coached at the Brands Hatch Drivers' pSchool. As one of the top instructors, he was asked to establish a branch of the school in the US, moving to Florida with his young family in 1988. Continuing his racing successes, from Elkhart Lake to Daytona, Pete developed as an outstanding driver coach, guiding the careers of many young future champions with a client list that includes world champion Damon Hill, Indy 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Hunter-Raey, and Alexander Rossi, Indycar's Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, the U.S. State Department's Anti-Terrorist Division, and even members of England's House of Lords. Additionally, he instructed at the Skip Barber racing school, tutored private clients, and was Chief Instructor of the Formula BMW young drivers series here and in Europe. With Sjoukje at his side, Pete ran his own popular invitational race events, entertaining guests and friends trackside and at their home. With his teaching skills, infinite patience, kindness, and gregarious personality, Pete was dearly loved by his many nieces and nephews and the young children of friends, whether instructing them in sailing on Seneca Lake or taking them for rides in his treasured MG-TF. Pete is also survived by six siblings: JC (Joan) of Montour Falls, Louise (Tom) of Rochester, Marya of Illinois, Margretta – Getchie (Kevin) of New York City, Rob of Illinois, and Duke (Nick) of Waterloo, NY, as well as his family in The Netherlands. His brothers Sam and Michael predeceased him in 2014 and 2015. The family will receive friends from 5 pm to 8 pm on Friday, February 14th at the Vedder-Scott & Zinger funeral home, 122 N. Genesee St., Montour Falls, New York. Pete's funeral mass will be held at St Mary's Of The Lake Church, 905 N. Decatur St., Watkins Glen, New York on Saturday, February 15th at 11 am.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Peter Argetsinger, please visit Tribute Store
Friday
14
February

Visitation at Funeral Home

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, February 14, 2020
Vedder-Scott & Zinger Funeral Home
122 N. Genesee St.
Montour Falls, New York, United States
Saturday
15
February

Mass

11:00 am
Saturday, February 15, 2020
St. Mary's Of The Lake Church
905 N. Decatur St.
Watkins Glen, New York, United States
Saturday
15
February

Final Resting Place

Saturday, February 15, 2020
Union Cemetery of Hector
St. Rt. #227
Burdett, New York, United States
Share Your Memory of
Peter