Difficult Day by the Bay for Team Cadillac Cadillac and Pilgrim Maintain Championship Leads as Papis and Angelelli Encounter Trouble at Infineon Raceway SONOMA, Calif., July 16, 2005 - Despite a brilliant blue sky and bright California sunshine,...
Difficult Day by the Bay for Team Cadillac
Cadillac and Pilgrim Maintain Championship Leads as Papis and Angelelli Encounter Trouble at Infineon Raceway
SONOMA, Calif., July 16, 2005 - Despite a brilliant blue sky and bright California sunshine, Team Cadillac's day at Infineon Raceway was clouded by accidents and mechanical gremlins. Andy Pilgrim was the top finisher among three Cadillac drivers competing in the SCCA SPEED World Championship GT, bringing his black CTS-V home in eighth place at the track across the bay from San Francisco. Max Papis was sidelined after contact with Tommy Archer's Viper, but persevered to finish 21st after the Team Cadillac crew repaired his car's damaged rear suspension. Max Angelelli was credited with 20th place after experiencing a transmission problem while running third. Lou Gigliotti won the 25-lap race, scoring Corvette's first SPEED GT victory since 2003.
The good news for Team Cadillac: Pilgrim maintained his lead in the drivers championship, and Cadillac continued to lead the manufacturers' standings over Porsche.
"It was a tough day, to say the least," said Pilgrim, who now holds a four-point lead in the drivers championship. "Qualifying 14th wasn't exactly the highlight of my year, but we had a good start and I passed several cars on the first lap. I was happy to be running 10th, and then with all of the action ahead of us, suddenly I was up to sixth.
"I couldn't gain any ground on the Porsche in front of me, and then unfortunately we had an engine issue," he continued. "The sound of the engine changed and I lost some power, so I just had to hang on to the checkered flag."
Papis was involved in an incident with Archer on the sixth lap when the Viper driver tried to go inside of him in Turn 7. The resulting contact left Papis with a flat right-rear tire and a damaged suspension. The crew replaced the components and got Papis back on track.
"It was unfortunate that Max got hit, but the team did an awesome job in the pits to get him back in the race," said Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "We knew the rules required Max to finish half the race distance in order to lose some REWARDS weight, and thanks to the Team Cadillac crew, he did."
A mechanical problem in the gearbox system took Max Angelelli out of contention when he slowed on the 16th lap.
"The car was good and I tried my best," Angelelli reported. "I'm just glad that I was able to finish half of the race and lose some REWARDS weight."
Despite the difficulties in today's race, Cadillac has a four-point lead over Porsche in the manufacturers championship after seven rounds of the 11-race series. Team Cadillac is looking forward to brighter days when the SCCA World Challenge resumes at Portland International Raceway on July 31.
Today's SPEED GT race at Infineon Raceway will be televised on the SPEED Channel at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 17.