Team Cadillac to Start Fifth and Sixth in Inaugural Salt Lake City SPEED GT Race Pilgrim and Fellows Come to Terms with New Track and Thin Air at Miller Motorsports Park SALT LAKE CITY, July 14, 2006 - After two days of intense testing ...
Team Cadillac to Start Fifth and Sixth in Inaugural Salt Lake City SPEED GT Race
Pilgrim and Fellows Come to Terms with New Track and Thin Air at Miller Motorsports Park
SALT LAKE CITY, July 14, 2006 - After two days of intense testing and practice, Team Cadillac drivers Andy Pilgrim and Ron Fellows qualified fifth and sixth respectively for Saturday's inaugural SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT race at Miller Motorsports Park. The team and drivers had to cope with high temperatures and high altitude at the new 4.5-mile road course in the Salt Lake Valley.
Both Cadillac drivers needed only one flying lap to record their qualifying times. Pilgrim stopped the timer in 2:57.186 (91.144 mph) to take fifth on the grid, and Fellows was right behind at 2:57.998 (90.729 mph). Lou Gigliotti's Corvette won the pole with a 2:56.232 (91.638 mph) lap.
"I'm very happy with what I got out of the car, but I'm not that happy with fifth on the grid considering how hard I drove," said Pilgrim, the reigning SPEED GT champion. "I was giving it all I had. I drove it hard and had to lift just a little at the exit a couple of times because I knew I was going to slide off."
Canadian road racing ace Ron Fellows echoed his teammate's sentiments:
"The track seemed a little slippery today, and my car wouldn't turn as well as it did yesterday when we did a mock qualifying run," he said. "The handling was a little loose yesterday, but it was understeering a bit today. When the surface is hot and slick like it was today in qualifying, you want the car to change direction quickly because the car is sliding more."
The sprawling Miller Motorsports Park complex is America's newest and longest road course. Team Cadillac's drivers and engineers have made steady progress in coming to terms with the track's 23 turns and 4,923-foot altitude.
"We've made phenomenal progress," said Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "We used every minute available on the promoter test day and completed more than two complete race distances. The cars ran flawlessly and the team did tremendous job working through a long list of changes.
"We've made consistent improvement in both cars, and that's evident in the improvement in lap times since we arrived," Spitzer noted. "The competitors in the World Challenge have been treated like kings by Mitch Wright and the staff at Miller Motorsports Park, and we certainly haven't been lacking time on the track. We got everything out of the cars that was there."
The SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT race at Miller Motorsports Park will start at 11:45 a.m. local time (1:45 p.m. EDT) on Saturday, July 15. The 50-minute race will be televised tape-delayed on the SPEED Channel on Saturday, July 22, at 4 p.m. ET.