May 23, 2017 | Lakeville, Connecticut | Alec Udell will have one of road racing’s more daunting challenges when the Clemson University junior travels from Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada to Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut via Southern California. By the time he returns to his native The Woodlands, Texas to celebrate Memorial Day, the 21 year-old will have campaigned three Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) SprintX races in the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R and done a promotional work for Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA).
Udell, who teams with Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland) in the PWC SprintX GT-X Pro-Am class, has already completed the first leg of the contest. The 2016 PWC GT Cup Champion raced in Round 3 of the SprintX season at CTMP finishing seventh as the “Pro” driver in the Pro-Am category. The duo was scheduled to contest Round 4 on Sunday, May 21 but heavy rains forced PWC officials to cancel the race. The 60-minute race will be rescheduled for a venue later in the season.
The fact that the No. 77 was racing in Canada was a remarkable feat of effort and scheduling. Having been heavily damaged in the second race at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), Calvert personally drove the damaged car to Phoenix Performance in Pennsylvania. Once there, and with the help of GMG and PMNA, the car was re-tubbed and a repaired engine and gearbox was installed. The car was then delivered to the CTMP paddock. Udell and Calvert were quickly up to speed further establishing the strength of the Calvert Dynamics, Phoenix Performance, GMG and Porsche partnership.
The ultra-fast CTMP circuit is the dichotomy of the next track the Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate will face in the rear-engine Porsche. While CTMP was 2.458-miles in length with ten turns, Lime Rock puts seven-turns into the short-track feel of its 1.5-mile confines. A lap of the Canadian track is turned in some of the quickest times the PWC cars will see all season while the dizzying pace of Lime Rock has more to do with its shorter nature. Yet, both circuits are steeped in motorsport history and require constant attention in both the attack for position and the defense of position. Lapped traffic is especially constant at the New England facility.
The larger, more powerful GT3-spec entry will test Udell over the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car he charged to victory in Race 2 at Lime Rock Park in 2016. The record lap for that class at the track, set by Udell last season in the Euroworld Motorsports GMG Porsche, was 54.924-seconds (a 96.614 mph average). By contrast, the fastest GT race lap set by Johnny O’Connell in 2013 was a 51.646-second flyer at 102.745 mph. A three-second difference on a sub-one-minute lap will require a quick reset for the winner of 27 PWC races – including two GTA class victories to open the 2017 season. He will be left with little time to catch his breath between turns during his approximately 35-minutes in the black and yellow Porsche during each of the 60-minute SprintX races.
Udell also added a cross-country “hop” to his weekly schedule. Barely three weeks from his final exams in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson, Udell left Canada on Sunday evening following the rained-out Round 4 at CTMP to fly to Carson, California to visit PMNA. On Monday evening, he flew directly to Connecticut to begin preparations for practice, qualifying and Round 5 of the championship on May 26 – Friday’s race will take the green flag at 3:55 p.m. ET. Round 6 will get underway at 1:20 p.m. Saturday, May 27.
Alec Udell |
about CTMP| “CTMP was good for us. We got caught out by a yellow flag in race one, which once again saw us lose a lap due to no wave by. Still Preston and I put in a solid effort for a great points finish. Unfortunate for the heavy rain on Sunday, we were ready to brave the elements, and had good starting position. Although disappointed, we understand the call made considering the treacherous conditions.
We were close to not making the event at all after being pushed off track at VIR. However, through the tireless efforts of Andrew Aquilante, Kurt Rezzetan and Ben VanDyke of Phoenix Performance, as well as PMNA and GMG we were able to get back on track and run a solid race. Thank you to all those involved in getting us back on track, we're ready for the next event!”
about Lime Rock | “We're looking forward to racing at Lime Rock this week. With back-to-back races we knew to get to Lime Rock we had to make it through CTMP. These tracks really do have similar feels, both averaging over 100 mph, making the lap times short and the racing fierce. Anything can happen!”
about the hectic travel and race schedule | “Traveling is all part of the gig here, back and forth across the country is pretty normal. I'm happy to be able to do all that I can to represent my supporters, Euroworld Motorsports, GMG and Calvert Dynamics.”
about Alec Udell |
Alec Udell is a junior studying engineering at Clemson University. The 21 year-old from The Woodlands, Texas began his racing career in karting at age five. He went on to win the Rotax National Points Championship in 2008 and represented his country as part of Team USA in Egypt in the World Championships in 2009. By 2011, he made history by becoming, at the time, the Pirelli World Challenge’s youngest ever competitor at age 15. He has 15 career Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup class wins entering the season and is the 2016 PWC GT Cup Champion.
about Euroworld Motorsports |
2017 is the third season Udell partners with Euroworld Motorsports (www.euroworldmotorsports.com). Euroworld is the country’s only certified automotive carbon fiber repair facility. Based in Houston, they are one of Texas’s leading European auto repair and performance facility.
More information on the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge can be found at www.world-challenge.com .