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Road Atlanta: Team Cadillac qualifying report

Pilgrim Puts Cadillac on Front Row at Road Atlanta Angelelli and Fellows Qualify Sixth and Seventh for Ninth Round of SPEED GT BRASELTON, Ga., Sept. 28, 2006 - Cadillac's bid for a second consecutive SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT manufacturers...

Pilgrim Puts Cadillac on Front Row at Road Atlanta

Angelelli and Fellows Qualify Sixth and Seventh for Ninth Round of SPEED GT

BRASELTON, Ga., Sept. 28, 2006 - Cadillac's bid for a second consecutive SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT manufacturers championship received a boost today as Andy Pilgrim qualified his No. 16 Cadillac CTS- V on the front row for Friday's 50-minute race. Pilgrim covered the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit in 1:26.539 (105.663 mph).

Tommy Archer was a heartbeat quicker than Pilgrim at 1:26.441 (105.783 mph) in a Viper, winning the pole and earning one bonus point for Dodge. Both drivers eclipsed the existing track record. Cadillac now trails Porsche and Dodge by seven points going into the penultimate round of the SPEED GT series, with nine points to be awarded to the winning manufacturer at Road Atlanta.

Team Cadillac guest drivers Max Angelelli and Ron Fellows qualified sixth and seventh respectively. Angelelli ran a fast lap of 1:27.318 (104.720 mph) late in the 20-minute qualifying session, while Fellows turned his quick time of 1:27.354 (104.677 mph) on his first flying lap. The top seven qualifiers were separated by just .913 seconds.

"My CTS- V was very good today," Pilgrim reported. "I had a little slide going into Turn 1 on my first fast lap and had to catch it. It didn't cost me any time, but it got my attention.

"The track has been consistently inconsistent since we arrived," Pilgrim noted. "You can get good grip in Turn 12, then no grip at all in 5 and 7. In qualifying you're trying to gain time where you can and compromise where you know you're going to slide."

Per the SPEED GT rules, Pilgrim is carrying less weight than Fellows at this race. Pilgrim went out for a second run at the pole after his tires had cooled, but was unable to improve his time.

"Qualifying didn't turn out quite as well as we hoped, but we're carrying a little more weight and we'll take it," said Fellows. "My Cadillac stops really well, so I can see making some passes under braking going into Turn 10 tomorrow."

"Andy did a great job again today," said Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "It was worth taking a second shot at the pole after the tires had cooled, but there was so much traffic that Andy and Max weren't able to get a good second run.

"With Tommy uncorking that fast lap and taking the pole, it makes our challenge to win the championship a little more difficult," Spitzer explained. "Now we'll just get ready to race tomorrow and aim for a good result for Cadillac."

-credit: gm racing

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Series PWC
Drivers Ron Fellows , Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Max Angelelli