DETROIT, (July 30, 2013) - Team Cadillac drivers Johnny O'Connell and Andy Pilgrim will be joined by GM Factory Driver Jordan Taylor for rounds 11 and 12 of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship to run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Aug. 2-4.
Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) comes over from the Corvette Racing program to offer another performance opinion on the CTS-V and provides the brand additional on-track exposure as the series visits the 2.2-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course located north of Columbus. The 21-year-old Taylor finished second in the first race and fourth in the second race last year in the No. 5 Cadillac CTS-V at Mid-Ohio.
Jordan Taylor "I always enjoy racing with the Cadillac guys in World Challenge," Taylor said. "The racing I do all year is all endurance running. It's cool to get back to some hard-fought sprint races. The World Challenge races are very intense, with a lot of competitive drivers, cars, and teams, and then you mix it in with the traffic, and it makes the races very exciting. I was extremely happy to get the call to join them for the race weekend."
"My goal is to do the best I can and score as many points for Team Cadillac as possible," he continued. "I'm not doing the whole year for driver points, so I can take a little extra risk for the win, but at the end of the day, it's all about the manufacturers championship.
"It's great working with Johnny and Andy," Taylor explained. "They're obviously guys whom I've looked up to as role models and drivers who have accomplished pretty much everything in racing. So to work with them is a privilege. Understanding how they work and go about racing is always a big learning experience, and something that I really appreciate."
"I have always run well at Mid-Ohio, and it's one of my favorite tracks," O'Connell said. "I won my first World Challenge race in 2011 at Mid-Ohio, by getting handed the lead on the last lap. That was a special moment for sure. To do well this weekend, it will take perfect execution on all of our parts. And of course, I'm never one to turn down a bit of luck as well."
"We've seen in the past that the Volvo is very good there," he continued. "I would expect them to be the ones to beat. Really, all season long it's the Audi that has shown it to be the strongest with the most potential, provided they don't make any mistakes. They should be just as strong. I think our Cadillac CTS-Vs have proven once again to be the best prepared cars in the paddock this year, and I think that bodes well for us."
"I think it's great that Jordan is joining us this weekend," O'Connell explained. "It gives us another set of data to look at as well as a fresh thought on our program. Audi has had more cars than us at most of the events, and Volvo could run a third car if they chose. We had some bad luck at Long Beach and COTA (Circuit of the America's) resulting in lost points. Things can happen that are out of our control, so that third car adds insurance for the manufacturers championship."
Pilgrim will be focused on the set-up of his Cadillac CTS-V and race craft this weekend.
"My first win at Mid-Ohio was in 1988 running a little Honda CRX with Randy Pobst," Pilgrim said. "That day it was pouring rain. We won it on the last lap of a three-hour race when Randy made a great move in Madness, we all went nuts. Nobody cared that we were soaked and freezing, well, I was freezing anyway. Our competitors are stronger than ever, car set-up and race craft will be my focus. There are numerous places at Mid-Ohio where people can get too aggressive and the cost can be big. I think patience and a good race car will pay dividends."
"I think our Cadillac CTS-Vs will be ok there," he continued. "I don't think a mid-speed corner, multi-transition track is necessarily best for us due to our longer wheel base, but we will have the best set-up we can get and we have done well there in the past."
"Jordan ran with us in the third Cadillac last year at Mid-Ohio, having the insurance with a third car is a great idea," Pilgrim explained. "Jordan fits right in with the team and it's always good to have an extra teammate out there that can provide additional feedback."
The series will travel to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a double race weekend Aug.2-4. The first 50-minute GT race will run Saturday at 11:40 a.m., with the second taking the standing start at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday.