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Mid-Ohio: Team Cadillac qualifying report

Three Cadillacs Qualify in Top Four at Mid-Ohio GM Engineer John Heinricy Leads Cadillac Charge as CTS-Vs Qualify 2-3-4 in SPEED GT LEXINGTON, Ohio, May 21, 2005 - John Heinricy has logged thousands of laps at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in...

Three Cadillacs Qualify in Top Four at Mid-Ohio
GM Engineer John Heinricy Leads Cadillac Charge as CTS-Vs Qualify 2-3-4 in SPEED GT

LEXINGTON, Ohio, May 21, 2005 - John Heinricy has logged thousands of laps at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in his racing career, and he's driven thousands of miles developing the production Cadillac CTS-V in his role as director of GM Performance Division. Combining his knowledge of the Mid-Ohio circuit with the capabilities of the CTS-V, Heinricy earned a front-row starting position for today's fourth round of the SPEED World Challenge GT. Team Cadillac's trio of black CTS-Vs took three of the top-four starting spots, qualifying second (Heinricy), third (Max Papis) and fourth (Andy Pilgrim).

Heinricy toured the 2.25-mile Mid-Ohio circuit in 1:27.511 (92.888 mph) in his first appearance with Team Cadillac in 2005. The three Cadillacs turned nearly identical laps with Papis recording a 1:27.602 (92.792 mph) lap and Pilgrim stopping the timers at 1:27.775 (92.609 mph). All three Cadillacs bettered the Mid-Ohio track record.

"I got a good, clean run on my first lap," said Heinricy. "The car was perfect. Last night after practice we talked about the setup, and then went over it again this morning. The Team Cadillac crew got the setup just right."

Heinricy first raced at Mid-Ohio in 1984, and he's posted six victories in the SCCA Runoffs at the track, including a fourth consecutive T-1 championship in 2004.

"Qualifying on the front row means I have to get a good start, and I'm happy to have my two Cadillac teammates right behind me," Heinricy reported. "If I get a good start, I hope to hound (polesitter) Wolf Henzler as much as possible in the race. The strength of the Cadillacs is our tire management; our engineers have burned the midnight oil to find a way to keep the tires under us."

Papis, fresh from a victory in the preceding race at Road Atlanta, will start on the inside of the second row. "We did a good job today and I was expecting to be a little bit closer to the pole," Papis reported. "Yesterday we focused mostly on long runs instead of qualifying. The race is 50 minutes, and we intend to keep pressure on the guy in front. He's alone and we have three teammates to work together.

"If the Porsche is going to push that hard in the race, he's going to have tire problems," Papis predicted. "If we keep the pressure on him, good things can happen for Team Cadillac."

Pilgrim, second in the drivers' standings, is carrying 150 pounds of REWARDS ballast after three top-four finishes this season. The extra lead weighs heavily on Pilgrim's race strategy.

"Qualifying fourth is great," Pilgrim declared. "As long as I get a good start, I'll hang with the guys. I knew I could get one good lap in qualifying if I was patient, but I think the REWARDS weight will come into play in the race.

"I was really quite careful in the sense that I didn't want to feel the car push and I didn't want to lock up the tires," Pilgrim continued. "Mid-Ohio requires so much discipline because if you make one mistake, you'll carry that mistake all the way through the next series of turns."

The fourth round of the SPEED GT will get the green light at 5:35 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 21. The race will be televised on the SPEED Channel at 4 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 28.

-gm racing-

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Series PWC
Drivers Max Papis , Andy Pilgrim , John Heinricy