October 19, 2017 | Monterey, California | Alec Udell closed the 2017 race season on an international stage of competitors at the Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours sanctioned by the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC). The Woodlands, Texas-resident, joined by Porsche factory drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Sven Müller (Germany), piloted the No. 17 Hybrid Kinetic Group Porsche 911 GT3 R prepared by GMG to a sixth-place finish in the Pro-Pro class at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The eight-hour race was the longest of the 21-one-year-old’s racing career and the first time in a race greater than one-hour driving the GT3-spec Porsche.
While the Pirelli World Challenge season closed last month with the Udell being named the season’s “Hard Charger Award” winner, the Clemson University senior could not pass up the opportunity to take on one of the biggest racing challenges of his young professional career. The IGTC brought drivers and cars from not only North America but from around the globe. The perfect stage to test his mettle against some of the world’s best GT drivers.
With Hybrid Kinetic Group joining longtime partner Euroworld Motorsports and veteran sports car racing operation GMG, Udell put together a full professional effort in car preparation and driver expertise. It was the Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate’s first time to co-drive with a “works” driver. Udell qualified the rear-engined, 500-horsepower Porsche eighth overall for Sunday’s race – an event two-times longer than any Udell had competed in before. Joined by the two Germans, the trio charged toward the front, running as high as third-place overall in the race at one point. They would ultimately settle for sixth in their class at the checkered flag.
While not the finish the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup Champion has become accustom to, the experience proved fruitful. Time with the veteran Porsche factory ace Henzler and first-year factory pilot Müller gave Udell valuable insight into the workings of factory driver approaches, sharing a car over long races and overcoming adversity.
2018 plans will be announced in the coming weeks for the Udell.
Alec Udell |
about the California 8 Hour| “The eight-hour event was not as successful as I was shooting for. However, for my first major GT3 endurance race, I'm satisfied with the result. A lot can go wrong in eight hours. We had no penalties, no pit stop errors and a very consistent car, however our strategy banked on a couple late yellows that we didn't get. We gained valuable information for the upcoming season on how the Porsche performs over a stint, as well as some things to execute better going forward in the endurance races. Hybrid Kinetic Group, GMG and Euroworld Motorsports put forth a lot of effort in order for this event to go off without any hitches and, for the most part, we made it happen. A sixth-place in Pro-Pro is a respectable finish. We just wanted a bit more, but hey that's what keeps you coming back to race!"
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 Hybrid Kinetic Group |
Hybrid Kinetic Group is a company invested in clean renewable energy, battery technology, nanotechnology and complete hybrid systems. They use motorsport as a proving ground for the various forms of technology they develop.
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. For more on the Intercontinental GT Challenge, visit www.intercontinentalgtchallenge.com .