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May 31, 2014 - 04:52 PM
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Cadillac Racing Wins on Belle Isle
Posted by: newsla on May 31, 2014 - 04:46 PM
Sports Cars
Cadillac Racing Wins on Belle Isle


Cadillac Racing driver Johnny O'Connell won the first of two Pirelli World Challenge Series Cadillac Grand Prix of Belle Isle races today. Teammate Pilgrim had a car issue that had him classified in tenth.

 

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Throughout practice the Cadillac Racing duo were at the top of the time sheets on the 2.3-mile, 13-turn modified street course. O'Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) was able to get a great standing start in his No. 3 Cadillac CTS.V.R from his pole position to jump out front. O'Connell proceeded to head the field right up to the only caution of the race on lap 15. Taking the opportunity to cool the tires on his CTS.V.R he got a strong restart and took his third win of the 2014 World Challenge GT season and his fourth in five races on Belle Isle.

Johnny O'Connell winner
"Cadillac Racing does a great job with our standing starts," O'Connell said. "That is directly attributable to our engineering team. Once I got out front I wanted to set a good pace knowing that they were coming for me. Luckily they started to race each other and I was able to get a good gap. As the race went on managing the traffic at a street race is where experience comes into play. The restart was good and I was able to get a home win for everyone at Cadillac."

Teammate Pilgrim (Boca Raton, Fla.) slotted into third place at the start, but quickly made his way to second on lap seven. Two laps later he came to the pits with an issue on his left front suspension. The team made repairs and he returned to the 50-minute race six laps down.

"I had a pretty good start," Pilgrim said. "I was thinking that if Johnny got away clean I would just slot in behind him. As it turned out Mike Skeen in the Audi made a nice move on the outside and got by me. I was able to capitalize on a slight slip up by him a couple of laps later and was running second until something went wrong on the left front of the car. The guys were able to make repairs and get me back out. We will be back tomorrow looking to make up some points. Congratulations to Johnny on a nice win today."

The Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac Grand Prix of Belle Isle race one will take the standing start for race two tomorrow, Sunday, at 11 a.m. The race will be televised on NBC Sports Network. Sunday, June 15 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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