Team Cadillac Suffers Bout of Bad Luck In Denver Uncharacteristic Driveline Failure Sidelines Max Papis' Number 16 Cadillac CTS-V Race Car DENVER, Colo. - After qualifying third and sixth respectively for Sunday's SPEED World Challenge GT...
Team Cadillac Suffers Bout of Bad Luck In Denver
Uncharacteristic Driveline Failure Sidelines Max Papis' Number 16 Cadillac CTS-V Race Car
DENVER, Colo. - After qualifying third and sixth respectively for Sunday's SPEED World Challenge GT race, Max Papis and Andy Pilgrim were optimistic for a strong showing. Carrying less REWARDS weight than his teammate-40 pounds versus 150 pounds-and having qualified higher on the grid, Papis was the team's primary hope for a podium finish to get the team's season back on track. Papis' optimism quickly turned to disappointment as he launched his CTS-V race car at the start of the race, only to quickly realize he had a problem with his car and needed to drive it around directly into the pits.
The reason for Papis' disabled CTS-V was found to be an uncharacteristic breakage of a driveline component. While Team Cadillac made a valiant effort in the pits to correct the problem and get Max back out into the action, the needed repairs just couldn't be accomplished in time.
"I'm really disappointed for our team because they've worked so hard this season to give us a chance at the title," commented Papis about the situation. "If there's one thing I've learned in my years of racing though it's that true champions are those who struggle relentlessly through adversity and rise to the challenge to make success happen. I know two things about our chances this season; I know I'll be driving my best the last two races and I know the team is going to work very hard to give Andy and I the best possible cars to race with."
When Papis pulled into the pits, Andy Pilgrim quickly found himself running in fifth place on the track. Driving a hard and smart race, Pilgrim held onto his fifth-place position through the first several laps of the race and then inherited fourth place through the technical misfortune of another racer. After a full course yellow flag for five laps to clear a wall-damaged race car from the track, the race went green again on lap 23 and the tightly packed race cars caused Pilgrim's rear view mirrors to be filled with the battling Leighton Reese, running fifth in his Corvette C-6, and Tommy Archer (sixth) in his Dodge Viper.
"When I started the race I found the team had given me a good car with the proper race setup to run near the front," said Pilgrim. "I know that anything can happen, especially on a street course, so I was determined to run a consistent race and save the brakes and tires as well as I could. After the restart following the yellow I was happy to still have a strong Cadillac and knew that I couldn't afford to make a single small mistake with Reese and Archer battling right behind me."
Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer was proud of Pilgrim's and the team's effort to achieve a fourth place finish in the race, but somewhat shocked by the unexpected failure on Papis' car.
"This was a classic case of racing bad luck and one I don't want to experience again any time soon," commented Spitzer after the race. "Thankfully, we had a good setup on Andy's car and he drove very hard to give us a strong finish to take away from Denver. The team really enjoyed racing here in Denver for the first time and hope to come back again to experience better luck next time."
The 50-minute SPEED World Challenge GT race at the Grand Prix of Denver will be televised on the SPEED Channel on Saturday, August 20, at 2 p.m. EDT.