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Laguna Seca: Team Cadillac qualifying notes

Papis Puts Cadillac CTS-V on Front Row for SPEED GT Season Finale Angelelli Qualifies 10th and Points Leader Pilgrim 12th for Decisive Race MONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 15, 2005 - Max Papis put Team Cadillac in position to win its first SCCA SPEED...

Papis Puts Cadillac CTS-V on Front Row for SPEED GT Season Finale
Angelelli Qualifies 10th and Points Leader Pilgrim 12th for Decisive Race

MONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 15, 2005 - Max Papis put Team Cadillac in position to win its first SCCA SPEED World Challenge manufacturers championship in Sunday's season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Papis qualified his Cadillac CTS-V on the front row, lapping the 2.238-mile road course in 1:30.539 (88.987 mph). Wolf Henzler edged Papis by .152-second to take the pole in a Porsche 911 Cup, setting up a shootout for the title between the two manufacturers.

Andy Pilgrim will start his bid for the SPEED GT drivers championship from 12th on the starting grid, and Team Cadillac guest driver Max Angelelli will start 10th.

"It was really important for Team Cadillac to qualify on the first row, and I gave 200 percent," said Papis. "We have put my CTS-V in position to have a very good race, and I'm very proud of the effort that everyone on the team made. Now what counts is the race."

The 20-minute qualifying session was conducted in sunny and brisk conditions after rain scoured the track last night.

"It was tough today," Papis noted. "The track was definitely damp in some places and had very little grip. It was a tricky qualifying session, perhaps the most difficult we've had this season, so the team did a good job to put my Cadillac CTS-V on the front row."

Pilgrim takes an eight-point lead into the title-deciding race. He qualified 12th at 1:31.609 after encountering traffic on his fast lap.

"It was unfortunate because I don't think the drivers realized that the first group of cars was coming up fast behind them," said Pilgrim. "I'm carrying more REWARDS weight than any other driver, so my tires are at their best for one lap, and unfortunately I found traffic in Turns 10 and 11 on my good lap.

"Tomorrow we race, and that's it," Pilgrim declared. "I don't think about championships, I never have and I never will."

To win the SPEED GT manufacturers title, Cadillac must score three more points than Porsche. To achieve that goal, a Cadillac must finish in fourth place or better and two positions ahead of the top-finishing Porsche. A tie will be decided in favor of Cadillac.

"Max did a terrific job and got the maximum out of his car in qualifying," commented Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "It's unfortunate that Andy was balked on his fast lap, but he's happy with his car, and I think he's going to be able to run hard in the race. Porsche has a very strong package at this track, and we intend to take the race to them starting on the first lap."

Max Angelelli is looking forward to the final round of the 11-race SPEED GT series: "For sure it's going to be a battle," said the Italian ace, "and we're going to try to beat those Porsches."

The 28-lap/45-minute SPEED GT race at the Monterey Sports Car Championships is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. PDT on Sunday, Oct. 16. The race will be televised live on the SPEED Channel at 5 p.m. EDT.

-gm racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Max Papis , Andy Pilgrim , Max Angelelli , Wolf Henzler