Team Cadillac Qualifies Fifth and Sixth in Sebring Pilgrim to Open Title Defense from Fifth, Angelelli Sixth Quickest Qualifier in SCCA World Challenge GT Season-Opener SEBRING, Fla., March 16, 2006 - Team Cadillac drivers Andy Pilgrim and Max...
Team Cadillac Qualifies Fifth and Sixth in Sebring
Pilgrim to Open Title Defense from Fifth, Angelelli Sixth Quickest Qualifier in SCCA World Challenge GT Season-Opener
SEBRING, Fla., March 16, 2006 - Team Cadillac drivers Andy Pilgrim and Max Angelelli qualified their Cadillac CTS-Vs in the fifth and sixth spots respectively for Friday's season-opening round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT at Sebring International Raceway. Pilgrim, the reigning GT champion, needed just two laps to post a 2:09.943 lap (102.506 mph) on the punishing 3.7-mile airport circuit. Angelelli posted his quick time at 2:10.110 (102.375 mph) on his fifth lap.
Leighton Reese won the pole in a Corvette with a 2:08.764 time (103.445 mph), followed by Mike McCann and Tommy Archer in Vipers and Lou Gigliotti in a Corvette. Reese and McCann eclipsed the 2:09.076 track qualifying record set by Angelelli in March 2004.
"That was a good lap, and I got everything out of the car I could," said Pilgrim, runner-up in the last two World Challenge GT races contested at Sebring. "I got one perfect lap, but the car was really sliding around in the last few corners. The Cadillacs are carrying the most weight because of the competition adjustments - 250 pounds more than the Corvettes with the same engine, for example. That's all we've got, and when you're a second behind the polewinner, you're left scratching your head."
Angelelli scored Team Cadillac's first victory in the team's debut at Sebring in 2004. He qualified sixth after an eventful run today.
"Max got balked on his first lap, and had to take a couple of more laps before he got a clean run," explained Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "We had set Max's tire pressures on the low side to give him more laps at maximum capacity because we knew that traffic might be an issue after he started in the middle of the pack in the qualifying order."
"Tomorrow we'll see what we can do with these cars," said Angelelli. "Hopefully we will get a podium finish."
Spitzer also looks forward to the first round of the 10-race World Challenge GT series. "We love racing at Sebring, we test here often, and we know that on long run our cars work well on this track," he said. "Certainly the Corvettes and Vipers are very quick here, and I don't think we have anything for the cars that qualified ahead of us. We'll take everything the CTS-Vs have to give us and we'll try to give the fans a great show. We're hoping we can get at least one of our Cadillac drivers on the podium."
The 20-lap/50-minute World Challenge GT race at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is scheduled to start at 4:50 p.m. EST on Friday, March 17. The race will be televised tape-delayed on Sunday, March 19, at 4 p.m. EST on the SPEED Channel.