DXDT Racing and David Askew Set for Endurance Race Debuts in No. 63 USALCO/Security National Mortgage Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the California 8 Hours
Askew Co-Drives with Ryan Dalziel and Mike Hedlund in California 8-Hours Intercontinental GT Challenge Finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, October 26 – 28
MONTEREY, California – Pirelli World Challenge competitors DXDT Racing and team owner and driver David Askew will make their major endurance racing debuts in the Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, October 26 – 28, where 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’s 8-hour Intercontinental GT Challenge race is part of DXDT Racing’s preparation for the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge, which will enhance and build on the successful Pirelli World Challenge series beginning next 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 California 8 Hours debut also gives Askew and DXDT Racing a chance to add to a productive 2018 racing season and participate in an endurance event for the first time with Dalziel, Hedlund and a three-driver lineup.
Competing in both Pirelli World Challenge Sprint series GTA and SprintX GT Am this year, Askew and DXDT Racing improved at every event and scored the team’s first GT-class victory in PWC competition.
Askew solo drove the No. 63 USALCO/Security National Mortgage Mercedes-AMG GT3 to a SprintX GT Am victory in his home race at Utah Motorsports Campus in August. The breakout win followed a then season-best SprintX finish one race earlier at Portland International Raceway where Askew crossed the line in second place. In total, DXDT and Askew recorded several more podium finishes and improved lap times and overall team and on-track performance at every 2018 race run to date.
Plans for DXDT Racing next year include a two-car Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry in the American Blancpain GT World Challenge with driver lineups and additional team and program details to be announced in the near future.
The team’s effort at the California 8 Hours could in part be a preview of what DXDT Racing will look like next season.
Dalziel, an overall Rolex 24 At Daytona and Petit Le Mans race winner and SprintX GT Pro/Am co-champion this year, makes his race debut with DXDT in the 8 Hours after coaching Askew near the end of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season.
“I’m really looking forward to the race,” said Dalziel, a native of Scotland who now lives in Orlando, Florida. “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 DXDT, particularly in Pirelli World Challenge, but the California 8 Hours will his first time competing in an SRO-organized race and at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG 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, a California resident. “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 California 8 Hours, participation has grown significantly with entries nearing 35 teams in various classes for this year’s second running of the race.
“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!”
A three-day event preceded by unofficial testing on Thursday, October 25, the California 8 Hours begins Friday, October 26, with practice and continues Saturday, October 27, with qualifying for all classes.
Race-day Sunday, October 28, has the California 8 Hours scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m. PDT with the checkered flag set to fall later that day at 5:15 p.m. EDT.