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Two top five finishes to start the season



Alex Sedgwick declared his intention to contend for the 2024 Porsche Carrera Cup North America championship title last weekend, scoring top-five finishes in both races to start the season at Sebring International Raceway.


The 25-year-old Warwickshire, UK native paced among the leaders in every session through the week, despite the daunting task of re-learning the No. 98 PT Autosport with JDX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car with the new series tires provided by Yokohama.


The four-car JDX Racing team tested at Sebring earlier in March, coming to grips – literally – with the Yokohama ADVAN tires. For Sedgwick and teammate Elias De La Torre IV, that meant deleting much of last year’s information from their collective databases and starting anew. The test answered some of the questions, but the final piece of the puzzle remained: what weather conditions would the series encounter on race weekend at the infamously temperature-sensitive circuit?


The answer: high heat and humidity. Temperatures soared into the high 80s on Wednesday, with track temps in the high 90s.


Through two practice sessions on Wednesday, Sedgwick worked to find the balance between traction and speed. He and his engineer Ryan Neff achieved a solid comfort level ahead of qualifying, balancing pushing the car and taking care of the tires. The team split the session with two sets of sticker tires, with both performing well. At the checkered flag, Sedgwick had set the fourth-quickest time, starting on row two for race one.


Race one took the green flag early Thursday evening, with Sedgwick sliding to the inside into turn one, taking a look for third but wisely backing out and settling in on the rear wing of the car ahead. He stayed on said wing through the early laps, until a yellow flag five minutes into the action slowed the field.


When the race returned to green, Sedgwick again took aim on second and third, trading positions under very close quarters just ahead. As the field settled in once again, Sedgwick found a solid rhythm, pacing a mere 3/10s of a second behind the leader – a 2023 Porsche Supercup winner.


“This was the first time this year that I’ve felt 100% comfortable in the car,” said Sedgwick. “I was able to get over to the inside and protect my line in turn one and stuck to the top three. I was very conscious of trying to look after my tires. I don’t feel as though this track suits my driving style as well as some of the other tracks we go to, so for race one, on a new tire, I’m happy with that result.”


Race two was scheduled for Friday at sunset, the final session of a packed sports car schedule at Sebring. With headlights blazing, the field took the green flag with Sedgwick once again stapled to the car ahead. With multiple cars exchanging paint – including Sedgwick, who took several taps from the car to the inside through turns eight and nine – the full course caution arrived at the end of lap one.


With 25 minutes remaining, darkness began to fall in earnest, with the remaining light diminishing rapidly – and making it increasingly difficult for drivers to judge distance. Struggling with front grip on a restart, Sedgwick bided his time before making a move on Michael McCann ahead – but teammate Zachary Vanier got a run from behind, sliding Sedgwick back to sixth.


With five minutes remaining, a frustrated Sedgwick got past McCann but with a late power steering issue, wisely chose to take the checkers in fifth position, to score two solid points finishes on the weekend.


“All things considered I’m pretty happy with the start to our season,” said Sedgwick. “We had a variety of issues to work through in testing and free practice, which led us to being a little on the back foot going into qualifying, but we made what we could out of it – I’m happy with two top fives. Overall, some good points to start the season and looking forward to moving forward in Miami!”


PT Autosport team principal Jason Myers was pleased with the weekend result – and with the progress the team has made since beginning its rookie season one year ago.


“What a great start to the year so far,” said Myers. “It hasn’t been easy, but we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were this time last year. Alex has improved markedly over the past year, competing in the Dubai 24, managing the 2nd annual Aspiring Driver Shootout, finishing 4th overall in Carrera Cup North America, and being invited to the AMG Young Driver test in Valencia. Quite a busy year! We’re looking forward to seeing how he does this year teamed with JDX again – this is the first opportunity Alex has ever had for continuity across multiple seasons with the same championship-winning team. We are incredibly thankful for our supportive partners Byers Porsche Columbus and Renier Construction.”


Next up for PT Autosport with JDX Racing and the Porsche Carrera Cup North America will be the doubleheader in support of the Formula One Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome, May 3 to 5. The races will be broadcast live in the U.S., on IMSA.tv, the NBC Peacock streaming app and PorscheCarreraCup.us.

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