Race Weekend Central

DXDT Racing Scores GT World Challenge America Sweep in Austin

DXDT Racing’s Alec Udell ran down and passed ST Racing’s Samantha Tan with 19 minutes to go Sunday (May 19). From there, Udell was able to hold to win Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS Race No. 2 from Circuit of the Americas with teammate Tommy Milner. The victory gives DXDT Racing the weekend sweep.

“[This weekend’s performance] is a testament to the [Corvette] platform [and the] engineers that have put a lot of hard work getting the car to where it’s at,” Udell told SRO America’s Amanda Busick after the race. “For me to be able to jump in and plug myself in [was] just seamless.”

The margin of victory was 4.633 seconds over Wright Motorsports’ Adam Adelson and Elliott Skeer. Tan and Neil Verhagen were third, then Turner Motorsport’s Robby Foley and Justin Rothberg. CrowdStrike Racing by Riley’s Colin Braun and George Kurtz.

In the Pro class, the top-two finishers were the top-two overall. Racers Edge Motorsports’ Luca Mars and Zach Veach finished third in class on the road, but were given a three-second post-race penalty due to multiple track limit violations. That allowed ST Racing’s Bill Auberlen and Varun Choksey to claim the final spot on the Pro podium.

Verhagen started from pole in his BMW and was able to beat Foley to turn 1. However, the first lap was far from easy going.

In turn 11, DXDT Racing’s Bryan Sellers ran into issues with his right front tire. Contact broke the valve stem, instantly deflating the Pirelli tire. The Corvette briefly ground to a smoky halt before continuing. Sellers eventually got the car back to the pits, replaced the tire and continued. However, it took so long for that to happen that Sellers ended up a lap and a half behind by the time he returned to the race.

At the end of the backstretch, Foley was able to get a run on Verhagen and take the lead under braking for turn 12. Behind the leaders, Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Andy Lee spun out after contact from Veach. Lee was able to continue, but dropped nearly to the rear of the field. No penalty was called for either instance of contact.

The top-three drivers on the grid were the top-three in the Pro-Am class and they managed to keep themselves at the front for the entire first half of the race.

When it came time for the mid-race pit stops, Foley, Verhagen and Braun pitted on the last possible lap to stay within the regulations. When the stops were completed, Rothberg was in the lead in the Turner BMW, but Tan was right on his tail.

The two BMW drivers ended up nearly five seconds ahead of Kurtz, who fell back into the Pro class battle for the lead. Adelson and Udell dispatched of him quickly.

Tan was faster than Rothberg, but couldn’t get around him. That allowed Adelson and Udell to enter the discussion for the overall lead.

With 32 minutes remaining, Tan got a run out of turn 15 and got to the inside of Rothberg in the triple-apex complex around the observation tower to take the lead. By that point, Tan’s advantage over Adelson had dropped from around five seconds to a little more than one.

That advantage extended up to 2.5 seconds after the Pro leaders were caught behind Rothberg, then fought for the Pro lead themselves.

In the Pro class, Skeer started fourth overall in his Porsche and kept himself solidly there. Tommy Milner, in the race-winning Corvette from Saturday, ran a couple of seconds back for the whole first stint.

See also
DXDT Racing Scores 1st Ever Win for Corvette Z06 GT3.R

After the pit stops, Adelson was held up briefly by Kurtz. That allowed Udell to bring himself into the discussion.

Once Tan took the overall lead from Rothberg, Adelson ran him down and spent a couple of laps trying to get past. That put Udell on his rear diffuser. After Rothberg was dispatched, the two fought for the Pro lead.

It took Udell a couple of laps to take the class lead away from Adelson. Once out front, he set out to catch Tan.

While Tan was faster than Rothberg, she was no match for Udell. Turning in laps more a second faster than the BMW, Udell ran down Tan and took the lead with 19 minutes to go.

From there, Udell was able to pull away from Tan. Adelson took second with 10 minutes to go, but could make no significant inroads towards Udell in the time remaining.

In Pro-Am, Tan pulled away quickly from Rothberg once the Pro leaders vanquished him. She was not threatened en route to the Pro-Am weekend sweep with Verhagen in third overall.

The margin of victory was 16.255 seconds over Foley and Rothberg. Braun and Kurtz were third, then Rennsport One’s Trent Hindman and Jake Pedersen. Chouest-Povoledo Racing’s Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo were fifth.

Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS teams will be off for the next couple of months. A couple of the teams will contest the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa, but the next race of the season will be at VIRginia International Raceway on July 18.

About the author

2021 Phil Allaway Headshot Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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