UDELL, GMG COMPLETE PODIUM SWEEP AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS
Following Saturday’s strong victory to open his Pirelli World Challenge GT-Cup category campaign, Global Motorsports Group’s Alec Udell continued his momentum with a second-place finish during Sunday’s Round Two.
“After yesterday’s victory, it’s actually a little disappointing, but our season is off to a great start,” stated Udell, who grew up in nearby Woodlands, Texas. “We came in to the weekend with strong ambitions, and came away with solid points and a good sense of what we need to do next. Certainly we would have liked to repeat a win, but we just didn’t quite have what we needed. Ultimately we learned a lot and are in good shape for next weekend. Thanks to everyone at GMG for an excellent job, and of course Euroworld Motorsport, Panther Pipeline and Amsource Capital for making this all possible.”
Qualifying second for Sunday’s second round, the event was actually fairly quiet for Alec and the No. 17 Euroworld Motorsport / Panther Pipeline / Amsource Capital Porsche 911 GT GT3 Cup. After managing to get around race-leader Sloan Urry during Saturday’s Race One, the opportunity simply never presented itself to repeat the feat. Pushing hard to keep pace, Udell and Urry appeared similarly matched from lap-to-lap throughout the 50-minute event, with Alec eventually crossing the finish line four seconds behind the winner.
As a full-time engineering student at Clemson University, Alec will be undergoing a busy few days, with only three days back at school for mid-term exams before returning to the series’ third and fourth rounds at St. Petersburg.
Meanwhile, the team’s other GT-Cup competitor, Alex Welch, would also enjoy a quiet run in his No. 08 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Starting from the fourth position, Alex would enjoy an incident-free race, making no mistakes and simply managing his car throughout the event, ultimately finishing sixth in his debut weekend for the category.
“It’s good to finish clean, so I’m happy about that, but obviously would have liked to have finished higher,” stated Welch. “The GT-Cup category is really competitive, and it’s definitely a fun class to be a part of. There’s definitely a few things we need to work on to get some more speed, but we all know it’s there. I enjoyed the weekend and really appreciate the effort from all the guys at GMG.”
Finally, James Sofronas would carry the team’s lone GT-category entry in the No. 14 Mobil 1 / The Thermal Club / Spyder Porsche 911 GT3 R. After suffering damage in an unavoidable incident during yesterday’s race, the primary focus was on simply making sure the car was as it should be, and the outcome did not disappointment. In addition to the incredible work of the crew to get the car completely back to normal for Sunday’s events, the team actually made a few performance tweaks as well, with Sofronas actually finding the car handling better than previous runs. Proving the strength of his car, James would go from a 14th place start to eventually breaking the top-10 over the course of the race, enjoying a few battles to ultimately take ninth. It would prove a testament to not only the team’s ability to repair a car that they’d barely taken possession of one week earlier, but make solid progress on the engineering and development of it.
“This weekend is a complete testament to the crew,” stated Sofronas. “The fact that they’d barely gotten their hands on the car and were able to turn it in to a top-10 machine is incredible. Obviously with our years of Porsche experience we were able to tap in to our database, and it definitely paid off. I’m happy with our progress and we have a lot to move forward with. It was great to see another for podium for Alec as well. He’s a competitive young man, so he’ll always want to win, but he drove a very mature race to make sure he finished. Alex Welch is still adjusting to the Cup category, but I think he should be happy with the results. It’s a tough class and he proved strong, and we know they’ll only get quicker.”
With only a few days between the end of the weekend’s festivities and the beginning of next weekend’s third and fourth rounds, all of the Pirelli World Challenge will embark on a whirlwind trip to St. Petersburg, Florida, to get the cars ready in just a matter of days. Practice begins on Friday, March 11, with a double-header series of races occurring over the weekend.