DXDT Racing’s Alec Udell and Tommy Milner Take Overall Win On Debut at COTA

DXDT Racing’s Alec Udell and Tommy Milner Take Overall Win On Debut at COTA
  • Udell and Milner Take Overall Victory 
  • Tan and Verhagen Clinch Pro-Am Win
  • Final Results 

Circuit of The Americas hosted a thrilling battle in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, as Race 1 saw a plethora of exciting action from start to finish. The 90-minute event saw multiple changes for both the overall lead and the respective Pro and Pro-Am class leads. 

Alec Udell and Tommy Milner took the Pro class and overall win with DXDT Racing, an impressive feat for the duo in their first race as a part of the Chevrolet program. The Pro-Am victory went to ST Racing’s Samantha Tan and Neil Verhagen, who also finished second in the overall running.   

Pro Class 

As the green flag waved to kick off Race 1, the action began to unfold immediately in the Pro class as Bill Auberlen pulled off an overtake in his No. 28 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3 to move up into the class lead ahead of pole sitter Alec Udell in the No. 63 DXDT Racing Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R. However, Udell was not about to back down without a fight, and came back swinging just 15 minutes later to reclaim the lead. 

Once he was running in clear air, Udell was able to pull a slight gap, further aided by the fact that the sister No. 38 ST Racing car of Pro-Am entry Samantha Tan moved ahead of Auberlen to create an additional buffer. 

At the 50 minute mark, Udell handed over his machine to teammate Tommy Milner, who retained the class lead as he returned to the track. As his stint progressed, he moved up even further into the overall lead of the race. 

Further down the field, Elliott Skeer and Varun Choksey were engaged in a tight battle over second place in class, with Skeer maneuvering his No. 120 Wright Motorsports Porsche 992 GT3 R around the ST Racing driver with 35 minutes remaining. The two competitors made slight contact a couple of laps later, resulting in some bodywork coming off Skeer’s machine, but he was able to continue on.

Milner crossed the finish line to clinch the victory for DXDT Racing, which marked the very first win in global competition for the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R. The Pro class podium was completed by Wright Motorsports in second, and ST Racing in third. 

When reflecting on the team’s win, Tommy Milner expressed; “There’s a lot of emotions, obviously. To claim the first win for this new Corvette Z06 GT3. R is very special. I’m so excited to get this first victory. This team has been trying really hard over the last couple of years to continuously improve, and I’m thrilled that I could accomplish this with them.”

“When you’re starting a new program, there’s all kinds of unknowns,” echoed Alec Udell. “This is the first time Tommy and I have driven together, and first time I've raced with the DXDT team. Everything has really gelled very nicely, which I think speaks to the caliber of the team. To be able to bring it all together is super satisfying, especially for me at my home race. It’s a great feeling and it takes a little bit of pressure off. Now we can continue to focus forward and make improvements where we can.”

Pro-Am Class

Riccardo Agostini had a rapid start in the No. 88 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3, setting off from the overall pole and immediately getting to work on extending his gap to the rest of the field as the team opted for an alternate strategy.

The No. 91 Regulator Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Philip Ellis started alongside in second overall, but received a drive-through penalty following an incident on the first lap, giving Ellis an additional challenge as he was dropped to the back of the field. As he began his comeback drive, he also set the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap of the race in the process.

Kyle Washington had an impressive stint in the No. 32 GMG Racing Porsche 992 GT3 R, moving up seven places overall in the opening ten minutes of the race. 

In the second half of the race, Neil Verhagen set off on a quest to move to the front of the field in his No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3, and began picking his way through traffic before going on to slot himself into the Pro-Am lead, with only Tommy Milner ahead of him in the Pro class. Meanwhile, Trent Hindman was powering down the track in his No. 85 RS1 Porsche 992 GT3 R, sitting second in class and third overall.

Custodio Toledo was driving cleanly and maintaining third place in class for the majority of his stint in the No. 88 Ferrari, but Colin Braun was on the charge in the No. 04 Crowdstrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3, closing in on Toledo in the final ten minutes while setting some of the quickest laps of the race in his hunt. Braun overtook Toledo and moved up into podium position with just over five minutes remaining. 

Verhagen took the checkered flag to secure ST Racing’s second win of the season, joined on the podium by RS1 in second, and CrowdStrike by Riley in third. 

“We’ve seen a lot of progress over the years and a lot of it can be attributed to working with Neil,” said Samantha Tan. “It’s been such a journey and we were digging deep today for sure.” 

“Samantha did brilliantly today,” added Neil Verhagen. “She stayed out of trouble and kept it clean. She gave me the car in one piece and in a good position as well. It made my job pretty easy today, and I have her to thank for that. Hopefully I can do the same for her tomorrow!” 

Let’s Get Racing

The Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS field will return for Race 2 on Sunday, May 19th at 2:15 PM CT. 

If you can’t make it to Austin, be sure to tune-in to SRO’s free live streams all weekend long on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports) and follow all the action through our social media channels and the event hashtag #GTCOTA.