Infineon World Challenge Round First Chance for Team Cadillac to Defend Race Victory at Mid-Ohio

By Auto News Log • August 27th, 2011

CTS-V Coupe Take to the Track with a Victory in Hand

- O’Connell wins at Mid-Ohio for Cadillac’s first since return to series
– Pilgrim logging top-fives, top-10s and points
– Team sets eye on Manufacturer title as well as driver crown

SONOMA, Calif. – The last time Team Cadillac saw action in the Pirelli World Challenge Series, it ended up earning its first victory since its return to the sports car series. On Saturday and Sunday, team drivers Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim will try and make it a winning streak on the 2.22-mile course at Infineon Raceway.

O’Connell earned that victory, Cadillac’s first since the season-ender in 2007 and the first for the CTS-V Coupe, by taking advantage of a scuffle between leader Alex Figge and second-place Mike Skeen on the final lap at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. That it happened in front of many Cadillac faithful was a pleasant bonus.

“Winning the race {at Mid-Ohio] was a little bit me being aggressive at the right time and also being fortuitous with some of the accidents that went on out there,” O’Connell said later. “It doesn’t matter how you get them; it’s just getting them.”

Pilgrim said that Infineon is a fun place to race, and that could be a key to success as well for the Team Cadillac camp.

“Infineon is one of the most technical race tracks in the U.S.,” said the Englishman. “I think half the track would have suited us well, but the IRL layout Is probably not ideal for the Cadillac’s long wheel base. IRL adds several slow or medium speed transitions in their layout. These will be very challenging for us.”

Whatever the obstacles, Pilgrim is jazzed that the course is on the schedule. “I love Infineon,” he said. “It’s a great driver’s track and the elevation changes are awesome.”

Add in the fact that Pilgrim qualified for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon in June and you have a happy driver. He qualified 42nd and finished 26th in a Chevrolet Impala.

“I had 30 minutes in the car and we qualified,” Pilgrim said. “I’d never seen the car before I got there. It was a lot of fun.”

The big weekend at Mid-Ohio left both drivers in good shape as the final four rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge play out.

O’Connell’s victory jumped him up a spot into fourth in the GT Series points, two behind Skeen, and Pilgrim’s solid weekend (fourth and sixth in the two races) leapfrogged him two spots in the points to fifth.

In the manufacturer’s chase, Porsche leads with 56 points and Cadillac is second with 30.

O’Connell, who finally earned his first World Challenge victory last time out, is pleased with the development of the CTS-V Coupe over the first eight races.

“I’m just stoked for everybody at Cadillac,” he said. “We have really smart people on this program, and they are working so hard. We’ve been on the podium twice at Mosport, had another in the works at Mid-Ohio until we had contact and we have the victory.

“We are constantly improving the cars and the team and that’s been the plan all year.”

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.

Ron LeMasters
Cadillac Racing Communications
Phone 704-719-0521
ronlemasters@windstream.net

Source: Cadillac

 

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