September 5, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Alec Udell knows how to perform under the pressure of racing’s hardest stages. Time and again, the 21 year-old senior at Clemson University has stepped up, faced the pressure and come out with accolades. It was no different this past weekend at his home track, the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Despite a loaded field of factory drivers and champions in North America’s premier sprint format GT racing series, the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), the resident of The Woodlands, Texas took on the test of being a local driver. While events out of Udell’s control kept him from showing his prowess in the first two of three races, in the final event on Sunday afternoon, Udell took the challenge, and the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R, and raced a precision-guided missile from the back of the GT-X field into the top-ten overall. He and co-driver Preston Calvert (Potomac, Maryland) finished the day with their third top-five finish of the season.
The first race of the weekend on Friday evening was a make-up event for a rained-out race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). The 60-minute race had its grid set by the race held at the Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada track in May and the end result was a frustrating seventh-place for the black and yellow GMG-prepared 911 GT3 R. Saturday’s race was the first official COTA round – ninth in the ten-race series – and Udell never had the chance to show himself after Calvert was struck and eliminated in Turn One of the first lap.
That left only Sunday’s final round to get the most for the weekend. Udell took the start from the back of the field – having never set a lap time in Saturday’s race from which the starting field is set. The mechanical engineering major attacked with meticulousness. He aggressively, but cleanly, went on a tear from 22nd spot on the grid slicing through traffic one competitor after the other until, nearing the closing of the pit window, the 2016 PWC GT Cup champion entered pit lane to hand over the rear-engine machine in second-place overall. The jump of 20-positions took just under 35-minutes. Calvert closed the race with a clean run to bring the first-year pairing to a fifth-place finish in the GTX Pro/Am class.
The COTA weekend brought to conclusion the PWC SprintX Championship – the final two events of the season and the Sprint Championship will come on September 16 – 17 at Sonoma Raceway in California. Udell and Calvert had strong finishes throughout the SprintX season but fell short of a podium in the Pro/Am class. Udell personally earned two PWC Sprint Championship GTA race victories at St, Petersburg, Florida as well as his first GT Pro class podium, a third-place, at Mid-Ohio.
The races can be watched at www.world-challenge.com and on tape delayed broadcast on the CBS Sports Network, Sunday September 10 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).
Alec Udell |
about COTA| “COTA was one of those weekends where nothing seemed to go our way. However, third time was the charm! Sunday's race showed what Preston and I were capable of all weekend, we had a great result.”
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 .