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Utah: Team Cadillac qualifying report

Team Cadillac Qualifies Seventh and 14th for Salt Lake City SPEED GT Performance Restrictions Take a Toll on Cadillac at High-Altitude Track SALT LAKE CITY, May 18, 2007 - Team Cadillac drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Andy Pilgrim qualified...

Team Cadillac Qualifies Seventh and 14th for Salt Lake City SPEED GT
Performance Restrictions Take a Toll on Cadillac at High-Altitude Track

SALT LAKE CITY, May 18, 2007 - Team Cadillac drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Andy Pilgrim qualified seventh and 14th respectively today for the third round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. The team's qualifying performance at the high-altitude track was adversely affected by series-mandated engine and weight restrictions.

Aschenbach recorded his quick time on his first flying lap on the sprawling 24-turn, 4.5-mile circuit at 2:57.498 (90.984 mph) to claim seventh place on the starting grid. Pilgrim also posted his quick time on his first lap at 2:58.311 (90.569 mph). After the Team Cadillac crew made suspension adjustments, Pilgrim returned to the track. His attempt to improve his 14th starting position was stymied by a red flag that shortened the scheduled 20-minute session by six minutes.

Tommy Archer won the pole in a Dodge Viper with a lap at 2:54.986 (92.290 mph) that eclipsed the 2:56.232 track record set last year. Corvette drivers Eric Curran, Lou Gigliotti and Doug Peterson swept the next three spots, and Porsches qualified fifth and sixth.

"My Cadillac was actually very good in qualifying, so I really don't know where Archer's 2:54 came from," said Aschenbach. "We knew some guys were sandbagging, and we're holding nothing back. It's just a shame that this is the way it comes out.

"The regulations have favored the Vipers, Porsches and Corvettes," explained the reigning SPEED GT champion. "I'm hopeful that the series officials will see that we're pushing as hard as we can and help us out for the next race, because we definitely need it now. Hats off to my crew, because they deserve a lot better than this."

Pilgrim was frustrated by a lack of grip on the track during his qualifying run.

"I had a great run going for half a lap and then for whatever reason, the car started sliding around," he reported. "I lost a lot of time in the last half of the track. We made some changes but I didn't get to make another qualifying lap because the session was red-flagged. Now we definitely have our work cut out for us in the race."

Sunday's 50-minute race will start under cooler conditions at 9:45 a.m.

"The race is going to be about conserving tires and waiting for the last few laps to make a move," Aschenbach predicted. "We know the Cadillac CTS-V will be good in the race, but I just don't know if we have anything for these other guys. It comes down to horsepower and straightaway speed, and we're very restricted by the rules. We'll have to keep our heads down and do what we can to get to the front."

The third round of the SPEED GT is scheduled to start at 9:45 a.m. local time (11:45 a.m. EDT) on Saturday, May 19. The race will be televised tape-delayed on Sunday, May 27, at 5 p.m. EDT on the SPEED Channel.

-credit: gm racing/tc

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Series PWC
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Tommy Archer , Lawson Aschenbach , Lou Gigliotti , Eric Curran , Doug Peterson