Pirelli World Challenge competitors DXDT Racing and team owner and driver David Askew will make their major endurance racing debuts in the this weekend’s Intercontinental GT Challenge season-ending California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Askew will co-drive the No. 63 USALCO/Security National Mortgage Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Ryan Dalziel and Mike Hedlund in the Pro-Am class.
The decision to participate in the second running of the SRO Motorsports Group-run event is part of the team’s preparation for the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America season, which replaces what was known as PWC GT this year.
“I’m really excited to run the California 8 Hours as this is my first endurance race,” Askew said. “I got into racing to compete in endurance races, but until now I’ve been concentrating on sprint racing just to get experience. So, I’m super excited to begin this new chapter for the team.
“I love what World Challenge is doing with the GT format for next year. The 90-minute race format allows me to get the experience I need with pit stops and driver changes, which just moves me that much closer to my goal.”
The event also gives Askew and DXDT a chance to add to a productive season, with Dalziel and Hedlund joining to make up the a three-driver lineup.
Competing in both PWC Sprint GTA and SprintX GT Am this year, Askew scored the team’s first class victory in PWC competition at Utah Motorsports Campus in August.
The team plans to field two Mercedes GT3s in the series next year, with driver lineups to be announced in the near future.
Its effort in the California 8 Hours could in part be a preview of what the team will look like next year.
Dalziel, an overall Rolex 24 At Daytona and Petit Le Mans race winner and SprintX GT Pro-Am co-champion this year, makes his team debut.
“I’m really looking forward to the race,” he said. “It will be a new challenge for both myself and DXDT Racing, but I believe, with my endurance racing experience, knowledge of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the deep pool of talented people DXDT Racing has assembled, we will be Pro-Am contenders.
“I have been coaching David Askew in recent months and have worked with Mike Hedlund in the past, so I know firsthand we have one of the strongest Bronze driver lineups in this race. This team is going places quickly and I am honored to be a part of that.”
Hedlund brings extensive sports car racing experience to the team, particularly in PWC, but will mark his first time at the wheel of a Mercedes GT3.
“I’ve done plenty of endurance racing, but it will be my first time in an SRO endurance race and with the Mercedes-AMG GT3,” said Hedlund. “It will also be my first time with DXDT Racing, but after our initial test with the car, I feel we all worked very well together.”
After attracting 19 participants in 2017’s inaugural event, participation has grown significantly with entries nearing 35 cars for this weekend.
“There will be a strong grid with some amazing cars and driver lineups and I’m looking forward to competing against them all,” Hedlund said.
“With Laguna Seca being essentially a home race for me, it makes for an even better weekend as my friends and family will be at the track cheering us on. We’ll do everything we can to end the 2018 season on a high note!”