Team Cadillac Scores Top-10s at Long Beach

By Auto News Log • April 18th, 2011

O’Connell, Pilgrim Run Steady Race, Finish 7th and 8th, Respectively

– Team Cadillac starts 7th (O’Connell) and 9th (Pilgrim)
– Late-race scuffle costs team two spots at the end
– Cadillac remains 2nd in Manufacturer Points after three rounds of Pirelli SCCA World Challenge Series

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim knew what was coming in Round 3 of the SCCA World Challenge Series on the Streets of Long Beach, and they drove solid, steady races to earn a pair of top-10 finishes in their Cadillac CTS-Vs.

Going into Long Beach, it wasn’t so much about where they finished; it was more about learning what their new Cadillac CTS-V racers needed. That was achieved, O’Connell said.

“I had a great start and a reasonably well-behaved car,” he said. “It was a valuable race for us, because it was the first time we ran a full race with no cautions. It was the first race-distance that we have run in anger. We got a lot of data on it.”

Pilgrim, who started ninth, got a good start as well and stayed close to O’Connell for the entire 30 laps until being balked by slower cars with less than 10 laps to go.

“It was a good run, and we ran all green, which was a lot of fun,” Pilgrim said. “It was frustrating, though. We can’t compete coming out of the corners, and even if we’ve got straightaway speed at the end, which isn’t too bad, I’m losing eight to 10 car lengths to guys coming out of the corner. It’s just crazy.

“We’ve got some work to do on the handling, that’s for sure, but an extra 100 horsepower wouldn’t have gotten us a victory today.”

The Cadillac teammates got a great start, advancing from sixth and ninth at the start to the upper reaches of the top five. But in the end, lack of legislated horsepower and traffic managed to drop them to their final finishing positions.

“There’s not a car out there in our category that can’t just out-motor us,” O’Connell said. “When you’re in that situation, it’s very difficult and very frustrating. But everyone on the team did a very good job, and the cars were mechanically perfect.”

Pilgrim was philosophical about the future.

“We’ve got some work to do on the handling, and we have to get some horsepower back, that’s for sure,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but the cars are clean, we wanted to get out of here without too much damage, and being mid-pack like that can be a pretty scary place to be. But, it’s a top-10 finish for both of us, we got some points, move on.”

O’Connell is 7th in driver points after three rounds, 188 behind leader Patrick Long. Pilgrim sits 10th, 224 behind the leader. Among manufacturers, Cadillac is second behind Porsche heading to Round 4 at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on May 1.

Brandon Davis won the race, topping James Sofronas and Jason Daskalos. Tony Gaples was fourth, followed by Patrick Long, Rob Morgan, O’Connell, Pilgrim, Tomy Drissi and rookie Jason Carter.

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.

Source: Cadillac

Comments

By Michael Hobson on April 23rd, 2011 at 12:25 am

From the grand stands at Long Beach, the Cadillacs were by far the most exciting to watch in the World Challenge race! The cars sound great and look great. As a fan of Johnny and Andy, I look forward to watching the team move to pole position!

Awesome!! We totally agree with you.

 

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