Team Cadillac Returns to Classic Road Course for Mid-Ohio SPEED GT Race Final Four Races on Natural Terrain Circuits Will Determine World Challenge Titles LEXINGTON, Ohio - They've raced on city streets and on high-banked oval tracks in 2007,...
Team Cadillac Returns to Classic Road Course for Mid-Ohio SPEED GT Race
Final Four Races on Natural Terrain Circuits Will Determine World Challenge Titles
LEXINGTON, Ohio - They've raced on city streets and on high-banked oval tracks in 2007, but now Team Cadillac is ready to contest the decisive final four rounds of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series on classic road courses. The stretch run for the SPEED GT titles will kick off on Sunday, July 22, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Course, followed by races at Mosport International Raceway, Road Atlanta, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Reigning SPEED GT champion Lawson Aschenbach couldn't be happier about the series' return to natural terrain circuits. "Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks in North America," said Aschenbach. "It's a real driver's track - very technical, very challenging. I've had success there in open-wheel cars, and I was runner-up in the SPEED GT race last year. The last four races are on tracks I already know, so I'm really looking forward to this part of the season."
Last year at Mid-Ohio, Aschenbach was ahead of a multi-car accident that knocked Johnny O'Connell's Cadillac CTS- V out of contention and elevated Andy Pilgrim's Cadillac from 10th to fifth at the finish.
"Lapped traffic is often a problem at Mid-Ohio because it's very difficult to pass," he explained. "Last year I was fortunate to be ahead of all the problems. The track has several blind corners because of the hills, and you have to keep an eye out for yellow flags and backmarkers."
Aschenbach has a solid game plan for Sunday's 50-minute sprint race: "My goal is to qualify as close to the front as possible and then be patient in the race," he revealed. "A lot of drivers will abuse their tires with wheelspin when they put the power down going through the hills, so patience is important. It comes down to racing smart."
After six of 10 rounds, Cadillac holds a six-point lead (40-34) over Porsche in the manufacturers championship. Cadillac drivers Andy Pilgrim and Aschenbach are second and third respectively in the drivers' standings behind Porsche's Randy Pobst.
"We've had a bit of everything so far this season - some good luck and some misfortune, but nothing too serious," observed Pilgrim, the 2005 SPEED GT champion. "It's been the typical ups and downs of a racing season. We're right in the middle of the fight for the manufacturers and drivers championships, and it's going to be very tight in the four remaining races.
"Historically tracks like Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca that have slow corners and a lot of transitions haven't favored the Cadillacs because our cars have a longer wheelbase than the cars we race against," Pilgrim explained. "But we've been successful in the past on high-speed tracks like Mosport and Road Atlanta, and we'll give it our best shot. That's what we always do."
The seventh round of the SPEED GT is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 22. The race will be televised tape-delayed on Saturday, July 28, at 4 p.m. EDT on the SPEED Channel.