COLLEGE STUDENT ALEC UDELL KEEPS A BUSY SCHEDULE IN THE CLASS ROOM AND ON THE TRACK WITH 2016 GT CUP TITLE
Starting at age 5, Udell continues to be impressive with his GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
HOUSTON, Tex. – Alec Udell does a great job at managing his time, whether it is in the class room at Clemson University or behind the wheel of his No. 17 GMG Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup sports car.
Udell, who started racing karts at age five, has been doing the same for some 16 years as an honor roll student and winning racer.
I’m taking 14 units in mechanical engineering at Clemson but I still was able to race the Porsche,” said Udell, who was one of the youngest drivers to win a pole position at age 15 in the Pirelli World Challenge.
Udell’s racing side was a winning one in 2016 by dominating the GT Cup division with twelve victories and six runner-up finishes in taking the GT Cup championship.
“I always go with a two-year plan or goal in my racing career,” explained The Woodland, Texas, college junior. “In 2015, it was my rookie year in GT Cup and we scored three wins. But it was a learning season with the GMG crew. I gained a lot of experience last year and I was ready to fight for the GT Cup championship this year.”
It proved to be a fight early in the season for Udell and Sloan Urry as the two GT Cup drivers each scored three victories in the first six events. But Udell caught fire in the middle of the campaign with six wins in the next eight 50-minute sprint contests.
“It’s just been an incredible year,” stated Udell, 21. “I couldn’t be more appreciative of everyone on the GMG team. Neville (Agass), James (Sofronas), John (Wise) and all the guys gave me a great car at every race and, of course, this was all made possible by the efforts of James and everyone at the team who’ve been amazing.”
“We knew we had a real shot at the championship this year,” he continued, “but to walk away with twelve wins was beyond what we could have hoped for. I want to thank all of my sponsors “Euroworld Motorsports, Amcourse Capital and Panther Pipeline for their great support too.”
The championship run for Udell continues his family’s long racing tradition which traces back to the early Indy cars with his great, great grandfather competing. His grandfather and father were SCCA racers for many years as well.
“You can say I grew up in a racing family dating back to my great, great grandfather,” said Udell. “In fact, my grandfather is the one who gave me a go-kart at age five and I was able to advance up the ranks and take the national karting championship in 2008. With great support from my parents (Kim and Bob) and my driving coach Stuart Robinson, I was able to move into the cars at a young age and develop my skills.”
Udell drove a Mazda Miata in his first auto racing experience and jumped to the Riley Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro in the GTS class in 2011. Alec became one of the youngest drivers (at age 15) to win a pole position. In 2014, he scored several top-five GTS finishes before moving into the GT Cup division.
“I really wanted to race a Porsche and GMG Motorsports allowed me to jump into the GT Cup,” said Udell. “I was always pretty fast in spec series in the past and I felt I had a chance for the title in GT Cup. But the racing was hard in 2015, with Colin (Thompson, 2015 GT Cup champion) and Sloan last year and with Sloan again this year. But the GMG Porsche was a great car.”
Some of the best door-to-door racing took place in the GT Cup this year, especially at Utah Motorsports Campus where Udell, Urry and McKay Snow fought three-abreast in the Sunday main event before Alec took the checkered flag.
“That was a fun and wild race with Sloan and McKay,” he explained. “We were racing very hard and we were three wide running down the back side of the track. It was some awesome racing as well as at Lime Rock too. Despite our class running in the back of the GT field, we did put on some outstanding racing.”
Udell did have the opportunity to race against the GT drivers in the final round this year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when he teamed up with Brent Holden in the SprintX competition.
“I was a tremendous chance to race against the GT professional drivers in Monterey,” said Udell. “We were fast in the SprintX practices and we battled the likes of Michael Lewis, John Edwards, Mike Skeen, Kyle Marcelli and others. That is a great challenge to jump right in against the factory and pro drivers. I’m looking forward to doing it again in 2017.”
While Udell will receive a special award from Porsche for his 2016 GT Cup title this weekend in Germany, Alec has set his sights for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season when he moves to the GT division. Udell will start the 2017 season in the GTA category.
“I’m very excited to move up to the “A” game with the factory GT drivers,” Alec said. “It’s been a dream to race a Porsche in the GT class and GMG Motorsports will give me that opportunity next year. Right now, my goal is to make the podium in a GT event. I know how hard that is to accomplish but I always set high goals.”
For 2017, Udell will continue to do double duty by hitting the books at Clemson and hitting the track in the Pirelli World Challenge.
“I know I always want to stay in racing, whether it’s behind the wheel of a race car or behind the scenes as engineer,” Alec admits. “So, I will work on my degree as well as my driving. I’m having a blast right now.”
Not bad for a 21-year-old.