Alec Udell Seventh in No. 70 Euroworld Motorsports/Panther Pipeline Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup and Will Hardeman 11th in No. 69 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup
AUSTIN, Texas (October 23, 2016) – Moorespeed and team drivers Alec Udell and Will Hardeman improved to seventh and 11th place finishes respectively Sunday in Race 2 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup doubleheader at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) where Moorespeed and its drivers did Texas and the United States proud against the world’s best Porsche GT3 Cup competitors.
Competing this weekend in Porsche’s flagship GT3 Cup series in support of the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix, Texans Hardeman and Udell were the only American drivers in the race. Moorespeed and Hardeman are based in Austin while Udell is from Houston.
Moorespeed in turn was the only team racing this weekend that regularly competes in North American Porsche GT3 Cup racing series. The Moorespeed race shop is located just minutes from the COTA front gate.
“I am really proud of both the guys,” Moorespeed President David Moore said. “They did a good job today, they had good, clean starts, and both moved up significantly right at the get-go. No one really gave us a chance of getting inside the top-15 with either guy, but we got two guys in there and almost had a pair of top-10 finishes.”
After Udell finished 11th and Hardeman placed 17th in Saturday’s first race, both drivers and the Moorespeed team knew they were capable of challenging for the top-10 and beyond in Sunday’s second and final race of the weekend.
Driving the No. 70 Euroworld Motorsports/Panther Pipeline Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup, Udell started today’s race from 12th on the gird while Hardeman rolled off from 16th in the No. 69 WPD/Moorespeed Porsche GT3 Cup. Both drivers made the most of the Supercup series signature standing start, with each moving up two spots on the first lap of the race.
Several other front runners spun off course in the race’s opening laps and, with both Udell and Hardeman charging on the leader’s pace, the Moorespeed duo took advantage of the miscues. Udell was sixth by lap four while Hardeman was soon up to 11th.
“I couldn’t be happier with our results,” Udell said. “I made it up to sixth at one point, lost that position and fell back to seventh, but it was just awesome to see my name and number up on the leaderboard with all of the other cars. To come out in this field and run in and near the top-10 like Will and I both did, I think it speaks wonders to the program here at Moorespeed.”
Udell and Hardeman were part of a lead-train of cars in the top-11 throughout the race that was frequently split by little over 10 seconds.
“I am absolutely elated with the results today and my driving,” Hardeman said. “For me to advance as far as I did through the field, six positions from yesterday’s race, it really couldn’t have gone much better. I probably could have picked up one more position at the end of the day, but I was still driving in the 99th percentile.”
Both Udell and Hardeman met the goals they had set heading into their Supercup debuts.
“My goal this weekend was to finish in the top-15, and my super, far-reaching goal was to break into the top-10,” Hardeman said. “We almost got there and I couldn’t be happier with the results.”
Udell clinched the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GT3 Cup Championship two weeks ago but today’s Supercup result is certainly another highlight of his season and career.
“They ran hard, ran strong and it is definitely Will’s highlight of his career so far, and it might even be for Alec,” Moore said. “He just won a championship, and he has been racing for a long time, but Supercup is some serious business here. You are racing against the best in the world.”
Udell crossed the finish line in sixth, 7.1 seconds behind the race winner, while Hardeman was just 16 seconds back at the line.
“The sport is all about competence at this level,” Hardeman said. “All of these guys really have about the same driving skill, they know what they should be doing, but the leaders have a lot more confidence. That really makes the difference, and I have really ended this season on a confidence high as far as where my goals were. I am certainly accomplishing those.”
Moore was honored that his established racing team performed so well while carrying the flag for both Texas and the United States in the international Supercup spotlight.
“I am really proud that we represented the State of Texas and the United States so well,” Moore said. “I think that people have a lot of respect for us now, and that’s all we wanted. We wanted to come here and be able to compete, not affect the championship negatively and actually add to it while bringing some Texas hospitality while we were at it.”
– Factory Porsche driver and Moorespeed driver coach Earl Bamber joined the team at COTA through Saturday’s first race. “It has been a really impressive debut,” said Bamber, who left Austin early Sunday morning for a testing commitment. “It’s tough coming into Supercup, but it is great for Will to get his first taste of it and Alec as well,” Bamber said. “The first time I ever drove in this series I was 15th, so that gives you a bit of a benchmark for how well they did. The level of competition makes you sharp. That’s what it is all about here, honing your skills to become some of the best GT drivers in the world, and this is the perfect playground to do that.”
– In addition to Moorespeed, Udell was quick to give thanks to his personal backers that made his Supercup debut possible. “Huge thanks to all the guys at Moorespeed, they put a great car together,” Udell said. “Once again, I also have to give a huge shout out to the guys at Euroworld Motorsports, Amsource Capital, Panther Pipeline and Advantage Engineering. They got me here, they got me to where I am at, and it’s a great showing here on this international stage up here with Formula 1 this weekend.”
– A planned test on the Supercup series-standard Michelin tires that was canceled for logistical reasons could have made Moorespeed’s solid weekend even better. “I wish we had the chance to test on these tires like we had originally planned,” Moore said. “I can’t believe I am saying this now, but I think these guys could have broken into the top-five if we had had that testing.”
– Hardeman saw a night-and-day difference between the weekend’s pair of races. “Sunday’s race was twice as clean as yesterday,” Hardeman said. “The driving was twice as clean, we were still racing as hard as it gets, but the little errors kind of get ironed out on day two. I feel that I am really getting a handle on this setup, my learning curve is so steep right now, but it is a really fun place to be.”