Team Cadillac Qualifies Sixth and Seventh for SPEED GT at Road America Qualifying Session Ends in Frustration for Fellows and Pilgrim ELKHART LAKE, Wis., August 19, 2006 - Team Cadillac drivers Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim qualified sixth and ...
Team Cadillac Qualifies Sixth and Seventh for SPEED GT at Road America
Qualifying Session Ends in Frustration for Fellows and Pilgrim
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., August 19, 2006 - Team Cadillac drivers Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim qualified sixth and seventh respectively today for Sunday's SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT race at Road America. Both Cadillac CTS-V drivers were stymied by a shortened qualifying session, yellow flags, traffic, and performance handicaps on the 4.0-mile Road America course.
Fellows turned his quickest lap at 2:16.390 (106.846 mph) on his first flying lap as the scheduled 20-minute session was shortened to 12 minutes after an extended track cleanup. Pilgrim encountered heavy traffic on his first qualifying lap, then rebounded from 12th to seventh on a last-ditch run that stopped the timers at 2:16.544 (106.726 mph). The pole went to Tommy Archer in a Viper at 2:15.333 (107.681 mph), with three Porsches - including two driven by rookies - and a Corvette in the top-five qualifying positions.
"It's disappointing that we didn't run any quicker in qualifying on fresh rubber than we did in practice on used tires, but that's a function of the performance penalties that the Cadillac race cars have to carry," said Fellows. "The car and the driver have to be absolutely perfect now to get a quick time. There was just a little too much push to get that one banzai time on the first lap.
"Then a Corvette went off in Turn 3 and there was a tow truck on the track, so that blew the next lap," Fellows explained, "and I had traffic on my last lap."
Pilgrim celebrated his birthday on Friday, but there were no gifts for the reigning SPEED GT champion in today's session.
"Qualifying was actually rather disappointing," said Pilgrim. "We had a great car, and the guys did a fantastic job with the setup after practice yesterday. But the traffic was terrible - I came up on four guys who were just cruising around, not looking in their mirrors. One guy I can deal with, but not four within three corners. At least I got one lap in at the end, but by then the tires were hot and had lost their edge."
With four races remaining, Cadillac trails Porsche by three points in the manufacturers championship standings.
"It's frustrating that our drivers are running on the ragged edge yet they're not able to qualify farther up the grid," commented program manager Dave Spitzer. "Team Cadillac is a championship-caliber team, and all we can do is put our heads down and continue to work hard and strive for flawless execution in order to get a good result in the race."
-credit: tc/gm racing