DXDT Racing Finishes Second in Endurance Race Debut Sunday in No. 63 USALCO/Security National Mortgage Mercedes-AMG GT3 in California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Clean and Competitive Run Brings GT3 Pro-Am Runner-up Finish for David Askew, Ryan Dalziel and Mike Hedlund in Intercontinental GT Challenge Finale
MONTEREY, California – Earning a podium finish in the team’s major endurance race debut, David Askew, Ryan Dalziel and Mike Hedlund combined for a clean and competitive run to a second-place GT3 Pro-Am class finish in the No. 63 USALCO/Security National Mortgage Mercedes-AMG GT3 Sunday in the 8 Hours of the California at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The eight-hour finale of 2018 Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) series was the longest endurance race DXDT Racing and its owner and driver Askew have ever contested, but everyone on the team capably rose to the challenge.
“I am super happy,” Askew said. “The goal going in was to finish, but to actually end up second is beyond my expectation for the day. The crew worked flawlessly, we didn’t have any mistakes, and I think I was the only guy to have some trouble with a cut tire. That was a little exciting, but we got that handled and right back on track.”
Dalziel started the race from 16th on the grid but steadily moved up the order throughout his opening stint. Askew and Hedlund continued the solid pace in their respective first stints, and all three drivers steered clear of on-track contact incidents and mistakes that knocked more than one competitor from contention.
“I knew coming into this program we had experienced guys here,” Dalziel said. “First and foremost, the goal was to finish, make no mistakes, take our time on the first pit stops and then kind of improve from there. That’s exactly what we did, and at the end we were matching the front-running teams with both pace and our pit stop times. We didn’t make any mistakes, my co-drivers David and Mike did a great job, and I am just super happy for the team. We’ll build on this.”
Dalziel and Hedlund each drove their first race with DXDT in the California 8 Hours.
“Hat’s off to Mike Hedlund and Ryan Dalziel,” Askew said. “They are both veterans, they helped me the whole day. They kept me calm and under control and even threw me back in the car at the end for a final 20-minute stint. That wasn’t even scheduled but they had me take the checkered flag. I was nervous, nervous as hell, but I brought it home and just have to thank them and the entire DXDT crew.”
Hedlund hit the podium at Laguna Seca in not only his first race with DXDT but also in his first drive in a Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“We had a nice solid outing at the California 8 Hours,” Hedlund said. “The team did a tremendous job for their first endurance race and my co-drivers David and Ryan were excellent all week. We continually improved the car and it was great to have such strong support from Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing. And personally, it’s amazing to finish with a podium in such a competitive race series and in my first time with DXDT Racing and behind the wheel of the Mercedes AMG-GT3!”
At least twice as long as any race Askew and the team have ever contested, the California 8 Hours was the ideal way for DXDT to make its endurance racing debut while also preparing and learning the nuances of next year’s revamped Blancpain GT World Challenge America series.
“They run a different Pirelli tire than what we run on here, so it was kind of like starting again, but we learned a lot, and luckily Mercedes-AMG was here. They helped us kind of hit the fast-forward button for us overnight, and the car was much better in the race. We know we still need to improve, but in the end both Mike and I could run with the overall leaders, so a lot to take away from the weekend and a lot to be happy about.”
Dalziel is an overall Rolex 24 At Daytona and Petit Le Mans race winner and the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge SprintX GT Pro-Am co-champion, a title he will pursue again in 2019 co-driving with Askew.
“Ryan is going to drive with me next year in World Challenge,” Askew said. “We are going to do the full season in GT Pro-Am and I am looking forward to getting that started. We are working on a second car and hopefully will be able to announce something soon. The aim is to have a two-car team with hopefully another Pro-Am entry, and I am pretty excited for that.”