Team Cadillac to Field Four Champions in 2006 Pilgrim to Defend SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Championship; Angelelli, Fellows and O'Connell Will Share Second Cadillac CTS-V DETROIT - Team Cadillac will have an all-star driver lineup in 2006...
Team Cadillac to Field Four Champions in 2006
Pilgrim to Defend SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Championship; Angelelli, Fellows and O'Connell Will Share Second Cadillac CTS-V
DETROIT - Team Cadillac will have an all-star driver lineup in 2006 with four championship-winning racers aiming for victories in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Championship in Cadillac CTS-V race cars. Andy Pilgrim, the reigning SPEED GT champion, will contest the entire 10-race series in the No. 1 Cadillac CTS-V. Max Angelelli, Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell will share the No. 16 Cadillac CTS-V. All four of Team Cadillac's drivers have previously raced the black CTS-Vs.
"The Cadillac CTS-V is a world-class performance luxury sedan, and we are delighted to have four world-class race car drivers with Team Cadillac in 2006," said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. "This formidable lineup of champions, combined with the capabilities of the production Cadillac CTS-V, will certainly put Team Cadillac in a strong position to win a second consecutive SPEED GT manufacturers championship. With drivers from the U.S., Canada and Europe, Team Cadillac's international roster of driving talent reflects Cadillac's stature as a truly global brand."
Since Team Cadillac's debut in March 2004, the black CTS-Vs have scored seven victories, six poles, and 21 podium finishes - highlighted by a 1-2-3 podium sweep at Road Atlanta in April 2005 and a sweep of the 2005 drivers and manufacturers championships.
Pilgrim, born in England and now a naturalized American citizen, has driven a Cadillac CTS-V race car since Cadillac finished first in the team's debut at Sebring in March 2004. Pilgrim's racing resume includes the 1996 IMSA Grand Sport Endurance Championship, the 1997-98 PSCR GT1 championships, five ALMS wins, and two Rolex 24 at Daytona victories, including an overall win in 2003.
"I've raced with Max, Ron and Johnny as teammates before, and I'm looking forward to having them as teammates again in 2006 at Team Cadillac," said Pilgrim. "Our focus will be on retaining the manufacturers championship, and I'll give it a 100 percent effort. 2006 will be an exciting year in the SPEED World Challenge with new venues such as Long Beach and Salt Lake City added to the schedule."
Fellows, a three-time American Le Mans Series GT1 champion (2002-04), 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner and overall winner in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Corvette Racing, scored back-to-back SPEED GT victories for Team Cadillac at Mosport in 2004-05. The versatile racer from Mississauga, Ont., has won races in series that range from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck (two career victories) and NASCAR Busch Series (three wins) to the SCCA Trans-Am (19 victories).
"I've had a great time racing for Team Cadillac in the last two years, and I'm looking forward to doing more races with the CTS-V this season," said Fellows. "The World Challenge GT reminds me of the Golden Age of the Trans-Am series, with intense competition among race cars that are really based on what you drive on the street. It's racing that rewards smoothness and finesse, and it's great fun."
O'Connell, a resident of Flowery Branch, Ga., shared the ALMS GT1 title with Fellows in 2003-04. The pair teamed up to win their class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and score an overall victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2001. He's won championships in the Formula Atlantic West, driven open-wheeled Indy cars, and tallied a record six class victories in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring endurance race. O'Connell's only previous appearance with Team Cadillac was at Road Atlanta in Sept. 2004.
"Racing with Team Cadillac and having Andy as a teammate is going to be a great experience," O'Connell said. "Based on the performance of the cars over the past two years, I'm confident we'll have good equipment. I've watched the close competition in the World Challenge as a television commentator, and I'm looking forward to being in the middle of the action as a driver. My job is to win races - that's the objective of everyone at Team Cadillac."
Angelelli, a resident of Monte Carlo, won the 1992 Italian F3 championship and was co-champion of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series in the Daytona Prototype class with teammate Wayne Taylor. He scored Team Cadillac's first win in Sebring, and subsequently posted victories in Road Atlanta (Sept. 2004) and Lime Rock Park (July 2005).
"Team Cadillac has an exceptional driver lineup in 2006, and they're backed by a group of very talented engineers and technicians," noted Dave Spitzer, Team Cadillac program manager. "The competition will certainly be intense, but Team Cadillac has the personnel, the equipment and the experience to achieve success again in 2006."