Competition Adjustments Take a Toll on Team Cadillac in Portland Qualifying Papis Takes Eighth as Fastest Cadillac CTS-V Qualifier PORTLAND, Ore., July 30, 2005 - Engine restrictions and additional weight imposed on Team Cadillac earlier this ...
Competition Adjustments Take a Toll on Team Cadillac in Portland
Papis Takes Eighth as Fastest Cadillac CTS-V Qualifier
PORTLAND, Ore., July 30, 2005 - Engine restrictions and additional weight imposed on Team Cadillac earlier this month took their toll today in SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT qualifying at the Portland Grand Prix. Max Papis was the fastest of the three Cadillac CTS-V drivers, taking the eighth spot on the 26-car grid with a lap time of 1:17.402 (91.346 mph) on the 1.96-mile Portland International Raceway road course. Points leader Andy Pilgrim qualified 16th at 1:18.068, and Team Cadillac guest driver John Heinricy, director of GM Performance Division, was 17th at 1:18.624.
Leighton Reese won the pole in a C6 Corvette with a 1:16.011 (93.018 mph) lap.
"We worked really hard on a qualifying setup to try to compensate for the deficit we have on the straightaway," said Papis. "I did a really good lap, and I'm proud of my job, but with the rules we have now we are not really in contention for the podium."
Following the sixth round of the series, Team Cadillac's trio of race cars were saddled with a 100-pound increase in base weight and their small-block V-8 engines were throttled back with 50 percent intake restrictors.
"I know that in the race the track is going to be super slippery," predicted Papis, who won a CART race at PIR from the pole in 2001. "I'm hoping for a top-five finish, but to get there we are going to need some help with attrition."
Andy Pilgrim, nursing an 11-point lead in the drivers championship, is carrying 190 pounds of REWARDS weight in Portland. Despite this handicap, Pilgrim was pleased with his qualifying run.
"My first lap was clean and it turned out to be my quickest," Pilgrim reported. "The track was a little slippery, and I thought maybe there was a quicker time in the car. I came in and cooled the tires, then went back out again, but I was immediately slower. I was trying harder, braking deeper, but the tires were off their best.
"I told my crew chief before qualifying that I'd be happy with a 17.99, and I ran an 18-flat lap, so I was close," he laughed. "I'm actually pretty pleased."
Heinricy, runner-up at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, had hoped for a better starting position in his second appearance of the season with Team Cadillac.
"We changed the setup a little for qualifying, and it took some time for me to get a feel for the car on my first lap," he said. "We might have done a little better, but nothing like the cars that are ahead of us at the top of the grid."
Heinricy's years of racing experience at PIR could prove to be an asset in tomorrow's 50-minute sprint.
"The track is going to be slippery for sure, but typically there aren't a lot of yellow flags here because there is a lot of runoff room," Heinricy noted. "The lack of power and the extra weight are both very noticeable, especially compared to the other cars. We just have to go out and do our best."
Team Cadillac holds a four-point lead over Porsche in the manufacturers championship; that narrow advantage could be in jeopardy as the fastest Porsche qualifier starts on the outside of the front row tomorrow.
"Qualifying went about as we expected," said Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "We're focused on the race now. Team Cadillac has excellent drivers and engineers, and we hope our cars will be consistent over a long run."
The 50-minute SPEED GT race at the Portland Grand Prix will start at 5:25 p.m. EDT (2:25 p.m local time) on Sunday, July 31. The race will be televised on the SPEED Channel on Sunday, August 7, at 3 p.m. EDT (check local listings).