LAKEVILLE, Connecticut – Heading in to the Pirelli World Challenge weekend with a heavy heart due to the loss of team member Sergey Zherebnenko, Global Motorsports Group’s (GMG) Alec Udell was able to add to his victory tally during this weekend’s double-header at Lime Rock Park despite a very muted atmosphere due to a heavy accident between two of the series’ competitors. James Sofronas would wrap up his weekend with a solid combination of runs as well.
“It was a very challenging weekend for not only everyone on the team, but everyone in the series as well,” stated GMG team owner and driver James Sofronas. “It’s been a very difficult few days. I drove with a heavy heart on Friday thinking of Sergey, and Saturday’s race became even more difficult knowing that my good personal friend Andrew Palmer was involved in a very serious accident. These are the kind of weeks where you’re reminded of what’s truly important, and as a small business that runs like a family, we take these moments to heart. We are wishing the best for both Andrew and Jorge De La Torre, and hope for positive news to come. Regardless, I’m very happy for Alec and another great weekend for him, and overall we’re pretty happy with our performance with the No. 14 as well. Both Porsches are running incredibly strong, and it’s a testament to the quality of our team and depth of experience with the marque.”
Driving the No. 17 Euroworld Motorsports / Amsource Capital / Panther Pipeline Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Alec Udell came in to the weekend as the points leader for the category, engaged in a two-way battle for the championship with Sloan Urry.
For Friday’s Race One, Udell would show strong prace throughout practice and qualifying, however when the green flag fell the pace of Sloan Urry proved insurmountable. Alec would push hard to keep up throughout his run, however as the laps continued, the 20-year old would elect to focus on his championship, resigning himself to second and not risking the car in the process.
For Saturday’s Race Two, the event would be put under a dark tone before the race had even started, with a heavy accident between drivers Andrew Palmer and Jorge De La Torre occurring during the morning warm-up. The duo were airlifted to the hospital, with reports slowly coming out from series officials on their respective conditions.
When Race Two began, the roles would reverse for Urry and Udell, with Alec taking the lead in to Turn One and never looking back. With the Pirelli World Challenge points’ system placing a major emphasis on race wins, Udell knew taking a victory was critical for his championship campaign, and he delivered just that. The No. 17 Porsche was clearly the dominant car for the event, adding to Alec’s win tally and continuing a podium streak that has existed since June of 2015.
“Obviously all of our thoughts and prayers are with Andrew and Jorge above all else,” stated the Clemson University Engineering Student. “It’s always difficult to compete when you know the severity of the situation, but that’s part of the challenge of this sport and we were all under the same pressure. This championship is really shaping up to be a close one, and I’m extremely happy with our results this weekend. Everyone on the team put together a great car, and in Race Two we clearly had the fastest car in class, and it’s a tribute to everyone in the organization. We’re heading in to the second half of the season with a very tight championship, and it’s going to come down to who shows the most patience with the fastest car, the intensity is definitely ramping up.”
In the GT category, James Sofronas would enjoy a very quiet run in the No. 14 Mobil 1 / Spyder / The Thermal Club Porsche 911 GT3 R. Putting his focus on car development and the engineering side of his program to translate in to their street-car tuning base, the team owner, who grew up nearby, would finish in 16th and 13th respectively.
The next round of the Pirelli World Challenge will occur in just three weeks’ time, competing at the famous Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, from June 24-26.
Everyone at Global Motorsports Group would like to send their thoughts and prayers to Andrew Palmer and Jorge De La Torre as well as their respective families. Andrew Palmer drove for GMG during 2013-2014 seasons, and was one of the most promising talents to ever come through our organization. We hope for positive news to come soon.
Founded in 2001 by James Sofronas, GMG has quickly established itself as North America’s premier performance tuning and racing facility. What began as a small 1,200 sq. ft. shop, maintaining two race cars, has grown into a 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art performance tuning, racing and service facility located in (Orange County) Santa Ana, California. The staff’s experience, attention to detail, and passion are what make GMG the choice of professionals and enthusiasts world wide. Whether you want to maximize the performance of your street car, or race wheel-to-wheel on both amateur and professional racing series across North America, GMG’s reputation for service and quality is unmatched.
Learn more at www.gmgracing.com
Spyder was founded by avid skier and outdoor athlete David Jacobs. He rose to world-class rankings as a competitive skier, and stayed connected to the sport he loves by coaching, designing related products, and building one of the most powerful brands in the industry. His dedication to the sport of skiing and the Spyder brand is as inspiring as it is intriguing. Spyder’s growth exploded over the turn of the century, and the company is now the largest ski-specialty brand in the world. David has recently discovered the adrenaline rush in racing classic Formula One cars, finding success – not surprisingly – in this new pastime. For a man who’s thrived on sports, technology, and professional advancement, the world is sure to see David go a few more times around the track.
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