Team Cadillac to Carry the Weight at Infineon Raceway Competition Adjustments Add Pounds, Decrease Power for Team Cadillac Trio SONOMA, Calif. - Along with trophies, championship points and accolades following a 1-2 finish at Lime Rock Park on...
Team Cadillac to Carry the Weight at Infineon Raceway
Competition Adjustments Add Pounds, Decrease Power for Team Cadillac Trio
SONOMA, Calif. - Along with trophies, championship points and accolades following a 1-2 finish at Lime Rock Park on July 2, Team Cadillac also received a package of competition adjustments from SCCA officials. Consequently Team Cadillac's trio of black CTS-V performance luxury sedans will be burdened with an additional 100 pounds and their GM small-block V-8 engines will be reined in with 50 percent restrictors in the seventh round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge Championship at Infineon Raceway on July 16.
"In the last four races, the Cadillacs and Porsches have been very closely matched and have had some terrific battles on a variety of tracks, so we were surprised to receive such a significant competition adjustment," commented Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "We respect the difficulty of the job that SCCA officials face to balance various types of cars and powertrains. If subsequent races show that these adjustments are too harsh, we're confident that SCCA will continue to make the necessary changes to produce the parity among competitors and the close racing that are the hallmarks of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge."
SCCA Pro Racing exercised its option to change vehicle specifications to equalize performance among the marques following the Lime Rock Park event. The base weight of Team Cadillac's CTS-Vs was raised from 3100 to 3200 pounds, and the engine air inlet was reduced to 63.6mm, equivalent to 50 percent of the area of the production throttle body. In addition, Team Cadillac's three drivers have earned REWARDS weight with their high finishes in previous rounds. This success ballast ranges from 210 pounds for points leader Andy Pilgrim to 120 pounds for Max Papis. Team Cadillac guest driver Max Angelelli will carry 180 pounds of ballast at Infineon Raceway after his victory at Lime Rock Park.
"Racing at Infineon is going to be very hard work because our opposition is now stronger after the adjustments," said Papis. "I believe that the organization of Team Cadillac and the people who work on our CTS-Vs are going to bring the best out of us. We are going to have to work even harder to maximize our chassis setup in every way we can to compensate for the extra weight and horsepower reduction."
"For me, this next race is a challenge," he continued. "If our opposition thinks that we'll be racing with one hand tied behind our back, they'd better think twice."
Papis and Pilgrim both count the Sonoma track as one of their favorite venues. Papis' last race on the 2.54-mile circuit was in 1996 when he drove a Ferrari prototype to a runner-up finish. Pilgrim has driven everything from showroom stock cars to prototypes over Infineon Raceway's hills and dales.
"I love Infineon Raceway, and I love the area," said Pilgrim. "Turn 10 is my favorite corner - it's a fast, flat right-hander that reminds me of the Kink at Road America. You enter that corner at around 120 mph, and just touch the brake pedal, so it's very fast."
"I think the whole track is awesome," agreed Papis. "I really enjoy the uphill section through Turn 1 and Turn 2. It's going to be a very different experience to approach that corner in a GT car instead of a prototype, but it could be good training because perhaps one day I will drive a NASCAR car at Infineon Raceway."
Both intend to savor the experience of racing in California's famed wine country.
"First I'm going to visit San Francisco and see Alcatraz," Papis reported, "and then I am going to visit the Chevrolet dealership of my good friend (Champ Car driver) Jimmy Vasser in Napa. He is going to loan me a convertible and my fiancee Tatiana and I will see the sights in Napa Valley. I'm not much interested in drinking wine, but I like to see how they prepare the vineyards - I'm an outdoor person, like a farmer. Sonoma and Napa remind me of my house in Italy, so perhaps that is why I feel at home there."
"A perfect afternoon in Sonoma for me? That would be riding a motorcycle through the vineyards," said Pilgrim. "There are great roads and great cafes along the way. I'd say riding a fast sport bike with an attractive young lady along for the ride would be about perfect."
But vineyard visits and motorbike rides are not the top priority for Team Cadillac this weekend. Maintaining Cadillac's lead in the manufacturers championship and winning points in the drivers' standings are on the top of the to-do list. The 50-minute SPEED GT race at the Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma starts at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. The race will be televised on the SPEED Channel on Sunday, July 17, at 6 p.m. EDT.