ELKHART LAKE, WI – Making a big step toward his championship aim in the Pirelli World Challenge GT-Cup category, Global Motorsports Group’s (GMG) Alec Udell took a commanding victory sweep during this past weekend’s 11th and 12th rounds at the scenic Road America circuit. Entering the weekend in a tie with championship contender Sloan Urry, Udell managed to take pole position, led every lap, set fastest race lap, and ultimately take victory in both events. Completing the team’s incredible weekend, team returnee Alex Welch would also show well with two consecutive fourth-place finishes in the GT-Cup category, and team owner James Sofronas would have one of his strongest showings of the year with a top-10 in the premier GT category.
“What an incredible weekend,” stated team owner and driver James Sofronas. “We all knew how important this weekend was for Alec, and he delivered an absolutely perfect performance. We’ve all been working hard on finding every bit of speed we can in our Porsches, and it’s really showing. Alec seemed to be in his own category this weekend, and it was huge for his championship hopes. There’s still a long way to go but this was definitely the kind of weekend we all needed. Alex Welch did a great job coming back this weekend, and he showed incredible pace. The top guys in GT-Cup are very young and extremely fast, and the fact he was right with them is a great testament to how far he’s come. Additionally, I’m pretty happy with my own performance as well. Another top-10 was a great testament to the quality of our car and crew with this new GT3 R, and we’re already focused toward the next race at Mid-Ohio.”
Driving the No. 17 Euroworld Motorsports / Panther Pipeline / Amsource Capital Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Alec Udell came in to the weekend knowing that victory would be critical for his championship hopes, and similarly that any mistakes could be incredibly costly. Throughout practice at the scenic Wisconsin circuit, the Texas native showed impressive pace, and after qualifying on pole for Saturday’s Race One, it was clear it was his race to control.
When Saturday’s green flag dropped, Alec was immediately on pace, taking the lead in to Turn One and never looking back. As the 50-minute race continued on, the 20-year old never faced any real challenges, managing his tires as the race unfolded and officially taking the victory by over six seconds.
For Sunday’s Race Two, a fairly similar outcome would be on display. While an early caution period would keep the field close for the opening half of the event, once the race resumed Alec would slowly build a gap over the field behind him, eventually taking victory by over eight seconds.
The weekend now puts Udell in to the championship lead with a total of seven victories on the season, however the Clemson University engineering student is aware there are still several races to go in his championship quest.
“This was the exact kind of weekend we needed,” stated Udell. “Everything just clicked for us. We found a setup that has really worked, and we’re really pleased with the progress we’ve made. Having a weekend like this is obviously a team effort, and it starts with folks like my Crew Chief Neville, and of course James, and carries on to every member of the crew. This championship really rewards winning, but it also really penalizes mistakes so we can never be too comfortable. There are still seven races to go, so we have to approach it one race at a time, starting with the next one at Mid-Ohio.”
Driving the No. 08 Torque Branding / Morgan Adams Foundation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Alex Welch would return to the GT-Cup category having not competed since the season-opener in Austin, Texas. No stranger to Porsche competition, the Colorado resident came in to the event fully aware of the challenge ahead, and did an impressive job of keeping up with the lead pack throughout both races.
During Saturday’s Race One, Alex would do well to re-acclimate himself to the level of competition in the category. Doing his best to keep pace with the lead pack, Welch would run a mistake-free race, running consistent lap times and never putting a foot wrong as he finished just outside of the podium, taking fourth.
For Sunday’s Race Two, the race would be much the same, with Alex doing an impressive job of staying in contention for third place, spending much of his race as part of a great three-way battle for second. He would ultimately finish where he started, once again taking fourth on the day.
“Any time you can race at Road America, it’s going to be a great weekend,” stated Welch. “With the high speeds here you’re always a little conscious of the stakes if you make a mistake, but luckily our race was incredibly clean. Alec and the other podium finishers are a really strong group of young guys, so being able to keep up with them was a lot of fun, and hopefully something we can continue in to the rest of our season.”
Finally, driving the No. 14 Spyder / Mobil 1 / The Thermal Club Porsche 911 GT3 R, James Sofronas would have a strong run in the series’ premier GT category. With his focus on car development and translating to the street-tuning side of his business, the weekend would have one of his best weekends of the year.
For Saturday’s Race One, Sofronas would spend much of his race in pursuit of the top-10, constantly engaged in a variety of on-track battles. Aware of the tricky nature of Road America, the Villa Park, Caifornia resident decided patience would be key, opting to preserve his car for an even stronger performance for Sunday’s Race Two.
On Sunday, the strategy would pay off, with Sofronas spending much of his race in pursuit of former Rolex GT champion Andrew Davis, eventually crossing the finish line in 10th, his second top-10 finish of the 2016 season.
With over a month off, all attention now turns to another classic road course, the famed Mid-Ohio circuit in Lexington, Ohio. Race One will take place on Friday, July 29, with Race Two taking place the next day. The team will have more to announce as we get closer to the event.
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.
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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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