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Jun 02, 2014 - 06:16 AM
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Cadillac Racing's O'Connell Sweeps Belle Isle
Posted by: newsla on Jun 02, 2014 - 06:15 AM
Sports Cars
Cadillac Racing's O'Connell Sweeps Belle Isle

Cadillac Racing driver Johnny O'Connell swept the Pirelli World Challenge Series Cadillac Grand Prix of Belle Isle GT races this weekend in the Motor City. Adding a second win in today's race he was followed across the finish line by teammate Andy Pilgrim.


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O'Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) added win number two on the weekend in this morning's Pirelli World Challenge GT race on the 2.3-mile, 13-turn Belle Isle Grand Prix circuit. The Georgian was able to get another strong start and lead the GT field into Turn One. He was followed closely by teammate Pilgrim (Boca Raton, Fla.) as the duo negotiated two caution periods and the GTS traffic to make it a Cadillac Racing one-two finish. Add the fact that pace car driver Don Harple was driving a CTS.V coupe and the race ended under yellow the sell-out Detroit crowd witnessed a Cadillac one-two-three.

The win for O'Connell is his third on the season and he has amassed an amazing record of five wins insix World Challenge races on Belle Isle.

"Wow what a weekend!" O'Connell exclaimed. "One of the crew joked they should change the name to O'Connell Island. I don't know about that, maybe there is an Irishman buried out here somewhere who smiles on me. I got another great start. Again big pat on the back to the Cadillac Racing crew and engineers. At the beginning I like to really push for the first few laps. I had Andy behind me and although it is not comforting to see him in my rearview it is better than a Ferrari of Audi. Actually I think Andy may have had a little better hot rod today than I did. So it pays to be on pole. A great weekend for everyone at Cadillac to win the home race in the shadow of the GM headquarters with so many Cadillac fans and employees on hand to share in the celebration."

Teammate Pilgrim had a strong run in second place. Aside from getting balked in traffic a couple times, he was never out of the shadow of O'Connell.

"It was good to come back and finish second today after the problem we had yesterday," Pilgrim said. "Johnny had a good start and when he is out front you have to really have something he doesn't to get by him. I may have had a little better car today, but with two yellows taking up a lot of green laps it just never worked my way. It is great for everyone at Cadillac that we finished one-two. That is always the goal and to do it right here in front of everyone at GM and Cadillac makes it just that much better."
The Pirelli World Challenge Series will travel to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin June 19-21 for a double race weekend with the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

The Cadillac Grand Prix of Belle Isle race weekend will be televised on NBC Sports Network. Sunday, June 15 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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