Alec Udell will step up to top-level GT3 competition this year, with the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup champion set for a dual-season effort in Porsche 911 GT3 R machinery.
As revealed on Tuesday’s Sportscar365 “Double Stint” Podcast, the 21-year-old will drive GMG Racing’s Porsche in the PWC Sprint rounds in GTA, while sharing the wheel of a GMG-prepared Calvert Dynamics Porsche with Preston Calvert in the SprintX races.
It marks a busy year ahead for Udell, who made his GT3 debut in last year’s SprintX season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, also in a GMG entry.
“Moving up classes always comes with a learning phase; I’m ready for the challenge of GTA,” Udell said. “The competition in PWC GT is second to none, with several factory backed programs and factory drivers; I have certainly got my work cut out for me.
“I’ve been training a lot in the off season to be prepared for the physical and mental fatigue experienced throughout the races, I can’t wait to get back in the car.
“I’m aiming for a podium in GTA and overall podium in GT. I know it will be a tough fight, but I believe I’m capable.”
Udell will be paired with Calvert in the five SprintX events, following Calvert’s success in the championship last year, having swept the weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus, alongside Michael Lewis.
“Those first two professional race wins were the highlight of my brief racing career so far, and have encouraged me to continue racing in the SprintX format,” Calvert said.
“Alec approached me about running the full SprintX series for 2017, and it seems like a great fit.”
For Udell, who started his PWC career at the age of 15 in GTS competition, linking up with Calvert to fight for Pro-Am class honors in the emerging SprintX championship was a no-brainer.
“We have been running against each other for two years in the GT Cup category and I’m excited to build on the successes he had in SprintX last year,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a different dynamic with trading the car off, but a very cool one.”
Team owner James Sofronas added: “I couldn’t be happier to see Alec develop in to the next level of competition.
“Alec has been a shining star of our development program since he first entered the championship, and elevating up to the GT ranks is going to be a great next step.”
Udell will start his new GT campaign in next month’s PWC Sprint season-opener at St. Pete, with the SprintX season getting underway at Virginia International Raceway in April.