Team Cadillac Finishes Third and Fourth in SPEED GT Pilgrim Posts Fourth Podium Finish of Season for Cadillac CTS-V SONOMA, Calif., June 24, 2006 - Team Cadillac uncorked another fine performance in the California wine country today as CTS-V...
Team Cadillac Finishes Third and Fourth in SPEED GT
Pilgrim Posts Fourth Podium Finish of Season for Cadillac CTS-V
SONOMA, Calif., June 24, 2006 - Team Cadillac uncorked another fine performance in the California wine country today as CTS-V drivers Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O'Connell finished third and fourth respectively in the fifth round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT. Pilgrim's third-place finish marked the fourth time that Team Cadillac has been on the podium this year.
The 40-minute timed race was contested in hot conditions on Infineon Raceway's 1.99-mile NASCAR road course, putting heat on the track, tires and drivers. Running fourth and fifth after the standing start, Pilgrim and O'Connell both passed Mike McCann's Viper on the fourth lap to put the black CTS-Vs third and fourth in the running order. After a full-course caution at the halfway point of the 27-lap race, O'Connell moved up to third on the restart on lap 17. He put pressure on Tommy Archer's Viper, but wasn't able to gain the second spot. On the final lap Pilgrim passed O'Connell coming out of the Turn 11 hairpin to secure the third spot on the podium.
The win went to Ricardo Imery's Porsche 911 GT3, and Archer's Viper was runner-up. Cadillac now trails Porsche by one point in the manufacturers championship (31-30), and has a one-point lead over Dodge. Pilgrim remains third in the drivers championship with 117 points, five points behind Porsche's Lawson Aschenbach and one point behind Corvette driver Lou Gigliotti.
"Everyone was slipping and sliding, and we knew that whoever could slide the least was going to win," said Pilgrim. "We were seeing extreme tire temperatures, and it makes sense that the car that won was the lightest car out there.
"Johnny and I ran third and fourth for most of the race, and we did the best we could to get Tommy," Pilgrim continued. "Johnny had a go at him, I had a go, and that was it."
O'Connell made his move when the green flag flew on the lap 17 restart.
"It was a good restart," he said. "The leader was going slow coming to the flag, and I pulled the trigger right on time. I got by Andy, but wasn't able to get around Archer.
"I was pushing hard to catch the Viper, but those laps were as fast as I could go. I dented this car the last time I drove it, and I didn't want to dent it again."
The SPEED World Challenge shared the bill with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series for the first time, providing a new audience for the production-based road racing series.
"I'm happy that we made a lot of new friends this weekend for Cadillac and I hope that we won some new fans for the SPEED World Challenge," said Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "I'm pleased that both CTS-Vs ran well, but what we had today was everything we've got. Team Cadillac has terrific drivers, a great team and exceptional race cars, but under the current circumstances that's just not enough. At least we came out of this race with some points, and we're looking forward to the next race at a new track in Salt Lake City."
Today's SPEED GT race at Infineon Raceway will be televised tape-delayed on the SPEED Channel on Saturday, July 8, at 4 p.m. EDT. The next event for Team Cadillac is the inaugural Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 15. That race will be televised tape-delayed on Saturday, July 22, at 4 p.m. EDT on SPEED.