Alec Udell Makes Impressive Porsche Debut with Dual Podiums in Austin
Repeat Thirds in Class Debut
AUSTIN, Texas (March 9, 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.