Team Cadillac's Two Maxs Qualify Second and Third for Lime Rock SPEED GT Angelelli and Papis Lead CTS-V Charge; Points Leader Pilgrim to Start Seventh LAKEVILLE, Conn., July 1, 2005 - Another maximum effort by Team Cadillac's Italian aces Max ...
Team Cadillac's Two Maxs Qualify Second and Third for Lime Rock SPEED GT
Angelelli and Papis Lead CTS-V Charge; Points Leader Pilgrim to Start Seventh
LAKEVILLE, Conn., July 1, 2005 - Another maximum effort by Team Cadillac's Italian aces Max Angelelli and Max Papis put a pair of black Cadillac CTS-Vs among the top-three qualifiers for Saturday's SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT race at Lime Rock Park. Despite heat, humidity and ample portions of REWARDS weight, Cadillac's luxury performance sedans qualified ahead of all of the Viper and the Porsche sports cars on this tight 1.54-mile circuit in the Connecticut countryside.
The two Maxs posted virtually identical lap times as only eight hundredths of a second separated the two Cadillac drivers. Angelelli will start on the front row after posting a 54.403-second lap. Papis will start on the inside of the second row after his 54.485-second qualifying run. Pilgrim, leading the drivers championship by eight points and carrying 210 pounds of REWARDS ballast at this race, qualified seventh with a 54.878-second lap time. Lou Gigliotti claimed his first SPEED GT pole of the season in a C6 Corvette.
"Qualifying on the front row was our plan, and we hit our goal," said Angelelli. "I'm happy with that, and it looks good for the race."
Angelelli and Papis are doing double duty on this holiday weekend, finishing second and third respectively last night in Pontiac-powered Daytona Prototypes at a Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Daytona International Speedway. The Cadillac duo flew from Daytona to Lime Rock late last night after the race.
While Angelelli posted his quick time on his second lap around the Lime Rock Park circuit, Papis' best time came at the 11-minute mark in the 20-minute qualifying session.
"It was a little difficult in the first run because I had quite a lot of traffic in front of me," Papis reported. "I came in and asked my engineer to make a change to the car, and it was definitely a move in the right direction."
"Lime Rock is an usual track on the SPEED World Challenge tour because the laps here are so short that a driver can make multiple qualifying runs," explained Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "We learned from our friends in the Touring car class that we should be able to get two hard runs out of the tires, and that became part of our qualifying strategy.
"I'm especially proud of what Team Cadillac's engineering team accomplished," Spitzer continued. "As the drivers earn more REWARDS weight with high finishes, invariably our cars are still planted in the corners and have exceptional setups. That extra performance really means a lot to the drivers and to the entire team at this point in the season."
Andy Pilgrim will start Saturday's 50-minute race from the fourth row after encountering heavy traffic throughout the qualifying session.
"Unfortunately I got caught in traffic on every lap, but that's just part of racing," Pilgrim said. "I think we had the potential to qualify better, so it's disappointing that I didn't get a clean lap. The crew made a suspension adjustment and when I went back out for my second run I was in traffic for three laps in a row. By then the tires had started to lose their edge.
"It's going to be tough starting from the fourth row," the points leader conceded. "Hopefully everyone will be smart at the start and we won't have a replay of the incidents at start of last race in Cleveland."
The sixth round of the SPEED GT will get the green light for the traditional standing start at 12:40 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 2. The 50-minute race will be televised on the SPEED Channel on Sunday, July 3, at 5 p.m. EDT.