Alec Udell Makes Impressive Porsche Debut with Dual Podiums in Austin
repeat thirds in class debut
AUSTIN, Texas (March 8, 2015): Having never raced a Porsche in his career, Alec Udell made an impressive debut in the all-new GT Cup category of the Pirelli World Challenge with dual podiums during this weekend’s season opening Grand Prix of Texas. A native of Texas himself, the 19-year-old took back-to-back third place finishes to earn solid points toward his goal of the series championship.
“It’s great to walk away with back-to-back podiums,” stated Udell. “Competing in a Porsche is a new experience but luckily my previous seasons in the Pirelli World Challenge were definitely put to good use this weekend and we were able to manage the event perfectly.”
Competing in the all-new GT Cup category, designed for the venerable Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 991, Alec’s primary aim was to gain valuable experience as he acclimated to the new machine. Having previously competed for three seasons in the series’ GTS category, Udell’s experience in high traffic and at the majority of the circuits placed him as an immediate contender. Joining forces with a long-time Porsche team Global Motorsports Group (GMG), the combined efforts proved an immediate match during the weekend’s initial round of practice sessions.
Qualifying his No. 17 Porsche in second for Saturday’s Race One, Alec made a solid getaway during the series’ signature standing start, doing his best to contend for the lead and running without fault as the race progressed. Still adapting to the unique characteristics of the rear-engined Porsche, the car’s strong pace began to fade as the race went on, with Alec eventually falling back to third but with the top-three cars all clearly away from the rest of the field. Settling into third position without threat from behind, Udell would see a podium celebration in his first-ever race with a Porsche and with solid experience heading into the next day’s event.
During Sunday’s Race Two, a heavy rain would set the stage for a very treacherous run however, Alec once again proved strong under adversity. Making another great start and part of a top-four battle, a sudden hit from behind would send the No. 17 spinning in Turn 11, with Alec forced to watch the field go by him as he avoided major incident. Rejoining the race and still on the lead lap, it was up to the driver to make up lost ground, which he did immediately, passing car after car in the opening laps. As the race went on, Udell once again found himself in a familiar position, third, where he settled in for the checkered flag.“Race Two was a real challenge, having to work my way from the back of the pack in the wet,” continued Udell. “With the track as wet as it was, I had to stay extremely focused to gain ground on everyone but not take unnecessary risk, and luckily it worked out. The team did a great job getting the car prepared for it, and we able to make it all work.”With only three weeks until the next event in St. Petersburg, Florida, Udell and team are already beginning preparations for the notorious street race, with first practice taking place on Friday, March 13.
|Class GTC - 10 Cars||Practice 1||Practice 2||Qualifying||Race 1
|Alec Udell #17||2nd||3rd||2nd||3rd||3rd|
The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. Saturday, March 14, 11 AM: GT/GTA, GT Cup presented by MOMO. All times listed Eastern
Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast.
Alec Udell Racing Signs with GMG Racing for the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup
Another Race, Another Car
The Woodlands,TX. Oct. 4, 2014 - Two weeks ago Alec Udell was in Utah for the final weekend of racing in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge season. Plagued by “gremlins” this year, he and the team were looking forward to the end of season banquet. The tally for the year was 3 top 3’s, 8 top 5’s, 11 times in the top 10. A triumph, all things considered.
Bags packed, transporters loaded, farewell’s and well wishes exchanged for another year, it was time to go back to University, Clemson, in South Carolina where he is majoring in Engineering.
While Alec was winging his way to campus life, Stuart Robinson of Motorsports Development Group was in talks with several Tudor Racing teams exploring opportunities for Alec. The two had been brought together years ago when Alec started karting in Texas, eventually entering and winning the Texas Prokart Challenge Series. Since then Robinson has been his coach and manager and now he saw an opportunity to take another step forward. A seat in the Muehlner Motorsports Porsche 991 was available for the upcoming “Lone Star LeMans” being run at the Circuit of the Americas later that week. After two days of negotiating, and deal was struck and Alec would be piloting a new platform in a different series.
We finally caught up with Alec during a break from his University schedule, to ask how itall went for him.
Did you have enough time to prepare? You only had two days after Utah and the PWC.
It was a bit tough to go straight from one race to another in my situation at Clemson, however once I was at the track I was able to focus all of my efforts on learning the car and the team. I luckily have had lots of laps at COTA so learning the track wasn't an issue.
Different than a 50 minute sprint, better or worse?
I think better, there's time to make up from a mistake or a bobble, and it’s not always the case that the fastest car wins. You have to be fast and consistent to finish on top.
You had a new platform (a Porsche 991 America) for this race, did you have enough test time in the car prior to the race?
I did not have as much time as I would've liked, we had some issues in the last practice and qualifying session. During the race, I had time to get acclimated in the car and get into the rhythm.
The Porsche and the Mustang are very different cars, how did this affect your drive?
I just went into the experience with open eyes knowing it would take me some time to get up to speed. In the Mustang you have to ‘throw around’ more than the Porsche, so I had to adjust my driving style for this a bit.
Are you looking to move up to a GT platform? What would your choice be?
I would love to move up to the GT category, the Porsche seems like a fantastic place to
So what are your hopes for the 2015 season?
Next season being in Pirelli World Challenge GT3 Cup is a big hope I have, and running a few races in Tudor. That being said, we've had great success with the Mustang the past few years and I would love the opportunity to go for the GTS Championship win.
Pirelli World Challenge at Sonoma Grand Prix
TOP TEN FINISH at the World Challenge Sonoa Grand Prix August 22nd to 24th, 2014
Sonoma GP was a tough weekend for Motorsports Development Group. We overcame many challenges to put both cars on the grid each day. With the help of our friends at Cortex Racing we had a great race weekend.
Motorsports Development Group had two drivers in the GTS class, Alec Udell #17 and Mitch Landry #97 at the World Challenge Honda Indy 200 race at Sonoma August 22nd - 24th, 2014.
Saturday Race 1
Alec Udell was unable to make the 2nd practice session due to mechanical problems but managed to qualify 9th overalll. Teammate Mitch Landry qualified 14th overall. Alec started Saturday's race in P9 and gained 4 positions to finish in 5th place. Mitch gained 5 positions after starting in P14 he finished 9th.
Sunday Race 2
Alec Udell finished in the top ten again on Sunday in 6th place. Team mate Mitch Landry finished in 18th position.
Photos by Michael Wong
|Class GTS - 22 Cars||Practice 1||Practice 2||Qualifying||Race 1
|Alec Udell #17||19th||DNS||9th||5th||6th|
|Mitch Landry #97||14th||10th||14th||9th||18th|
The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. Sunday, August 30th at 1 p.m. (re-air Thursday Sept 5th 16 at 12:30 a.m.) eastern time.
Also on www.world-challengeTV.com after initial broadcast.