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Laguna Seca: Team Cadillac qualifying report

Team Cadillac Qualifies Third, Sixth and Ninth for SPEED GT Season Finale Angelelli to Start on Inside Second Row in Title-Deciding Race MONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 21, 2006 - A trio of Team Cadillac drivers qualified by the numbers today, taking the...

Team Cadillac Qualifies Third, Sixth and Ninth for SPEED GT Season Finale
Angelelli to Start on Inside Second Row in Title-Deciding Race

MONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 21, 2006 - A trio of Team Cadillac drivers qualified by the numbers today, taking the third, sixth and ninth spots on the grid for Sunday's SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Max Angelelli was the top qualifier for Team Cadillac at 1:29.110 (90.414 mph), and will start on the inside of the second row in the decisive 10th round of the production-based road racing series. Cadillac driver Johnny O'Connell will start sixth and defending SPEED GT champion Andy Pilgrim qualified ninth.

Leighton Reese won the pole in a Corvette with a track-record time of 1:28.463 (91.075 mph) and thereby secured one bonus point for Chevrolet in the manufacturers championship. With nine manufacturer points on the line in Sunday's 50-minute race, a CTS- V must finish ahead of the first Porsche and three positions ahead of the first Dodge for Cadillac to win its second manufacturers' title.

"The track was good and my Cadillac was super, but my goal was to win the pole position so I'm a little disappointed," said Angelelli. "I just made a small mistake in one corner and I could see on my dashboard that I'd lost some time. I'm actually happy to start third instead of second because at least I will be on the inside at the start."

Under the SCCA REWARDS system of success ballast, Angelelli's Cadillac is racing at 3,050 pounds, while O'Connell's CTS- V weighs 100 pounds more and Pilgrim's is 140 pounds heavier.

"The team gave me the best Cadillac I've had all weekend and I'm very pleased with my qualifying time," said O'Connell. "I'm carrying 100 pounds more than the No. 12 Cadillac and my lap times in qualifying were quicker than I'd run in practice, so starting sixth makes me very excited about the race. We definitely have a challenge on our hands tomorrow because there are a couple of Porsches in front of us and the manufacturers championship is on the line."

Pilgrim will start on the inside of the fifth row. He ran one timed lap, then returned to the pits. With few cars on the track in the closing minutes of the 20-minute session, Pilgrim was able to post his best qualifying time shortly before the session ended.

"The car was a little twitchy at the beginning, so I came in and the crew made some adjustments," Pilgrim explained. "I'd have liked to qualify closer to the front, but realistically my car is 140 pounds heavier than Max's and 40 pounds heavier than Johnny's, and that's the order that we qualified."

The 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit has been resurfaced since the series raced here one year ago and the top 13 qualifiers bettered the previous track record. The new pavement has been problematic, but Team Cadillac has adapted to the changes.

"We left a little on the table in qualifying, but we've had good setups all weekend and we're very happy with the performance of the team and drivers," said Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "We don't mind a few bumps and ripples because the CTS- V race cars have terrific suspension architecture, chassis stiffness and dampers, just like the production CTS- V ."

-credit: scca

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Johnny O'Connell , Andy Pilgrim , Leighton Reese , Max Angelelli