April 17, 2018 | Long Beach, California | Alec Udell came into the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend looking to turn his 2018 season around. It has been one year since PWC officials declared him a “professional” driver and the resident of The Woodlands, Texas was hoping to celebrate with his first overall victory in North America’s premier sprint-format GT championship. He brought the No. 41 Loci Porsche 911 GT3 R prepared by GMG to the Long Beach, California street circuit and showed immediate speed. Unfortunately, a mid-race incident and penalty would relegate the Clemson University senior to seventh-place in the GT class at the end of the 50-minute race on Sunday, April 15.
The 2016 PWC GT Cup Champion started fourth on the grid for the race, the highest of the Porsche GT cars, and got off to a rocket start nearly moving into the lead entering turn one but settled into a battle for third, fourth and fifth on the track racing with fellow Porsche 911 GT3 R drivers Scott Hargrove, who came into the weekend as the points leader, and Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen. While in the nip-and-tuck battle to hold back Hargrove, Udell came up on lapped traffic of a slower class car. He charged out of the corner side-by-side with the GTS class entry of Mike Sullivan. Believing himself clear of Sullivan, he turned back to the left to take the preferred racing line. However, he was not entirely in front of the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR and made slight contact with the other car. While Udell was able to continue, Sullivan spun and made contact with the wall. He was unhurt. For Udell, PWC race officials called for a one-minute stop and hold penalty to be served. The Texan served his sentence and returned to the track. While no longer in contention for the race win Udell looked to set the fastest race lap with the Loci Porsche. For a time, Udell held the spot for fastest lap but lost it late in the going.
The next round of the Pirelli World Challenge will see Udell return to the wheel of the No. 41 Loci Porsche 911 GT3 R prepared by GMG at VIRginia International Raceway, April 27 -29. Rounds Three and Four of the SprintX Championship will be run at the Alton, Virginia-area track. The twin, 60-minute races will see Udell back sharing the Loci car with Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France).
Alec Udell | “I did two-thirds of my job in the race at Long Beach. The GMG team gave me a good car in the Loci Porsche and I was quick in it, but didn't keep it completely out of trouble. I am obviously disappointed for the team, for Loci and for myself but I also want to apologize to Mike [Sullivan]. That was my fault and I am thankful that he is OK. Now we look forward and get ready for VIR. We have the speed with the Loci number 41 and I will do my whole job there.”
about Alec Udell |
Alec Udell is a junior studying engineering at Clemson University. The 22 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 17 career Pirelli World Challenge class wins and is the 2016 PWC GT Cup Champion.
about Loci |
Loci, a Northern Virginia based company is breaking down the barriers of innovation with blockchain technology. With LOCIsearch, their powerful and proprietary tool, inventors can search, stake, and sell their ideas.
John Wise, a former automotive engineer and now CEO of Loci, developed the ideas behind LOCIsearch directly from his experiences in the racing industry. Loci is working alongside traditional processes to increase opportunities for inventors and innovators across industries like racing. For more on Loci, please visit https://loci.io and on Twitter at @Loci_io.
More information on the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge can be found at www.world-challenge.com.