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Jun 21, 2014 - 05:56 AM
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Cadillac Racing Finishes Fourth and Seventh at Road America
Posted by: newsla on Jun 21, 2014 - 05:55 AM
Sports Cars
Cadillac Racing Finishes Fourth and Seventh at Road America

Cadillac Racing drivers Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O'Connell finished fourth and seventh respectively in the first of a double race weekend at the Pirelli World Challenge Series presented by Cadillac GT race at Road America this afternoon.


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Due to rain this morning the grid was set by World Challenge points. O'Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) had the pole and teammate Pilgrim (Boca Raton, Fla.) took the start from fourth on the GT grid. A new starting procedure set by the SCCA officials didn't go as planned. O'Connell got mixed signals from the starting lights and sign board and was forced to creep his Cadillac CTS.V.R at the start. As a result he was penalized for jumping the start and had to serve a drive through penalty costing him the lead on lap three. Pilgrim assumed the lead and managed to head the field for ten laps before the lighter FIA GT3 Audi of Mike Skeen caught and passed him. As the laps counted down an aggressive move later in the race by Tim Bergmeister pushed Pilgrim to the outside of Turn Five allowing both the Porsche of Bergmeister and the McLaren of Rob Thorne to get by with just two laps remaining.

"We ran well," Pilgrim said. "I got a good start. I was aggressive to get by Lazzaro and we went side-by-side into Turn One. He gave me room and I gave him space into Turn Two and came out in the lead. The more laps we did the closer the field got to me. The track got pretty slippery as the race went green the whole way. We expected that the car would fall off toward the end. I was really sliding all over toward the end. It was a question of time before they caught me. I hit some traffic in the Carousel and the Kink and that kills those laps. Bergmeister made a big move into Turn Five and pushed me wide, which also let the McLaren through. It was disappointing, I was hoping to get a podium out of the race."

O'Connell had confusion with the new starting procedure.

"The new start procedure that the series instituted didn't go the way it was supposed to today," O'Connell said. "The lights were delayed. My clutch got hot and I began to move, then I just had to go. We took our medicine and I did the drive through. After that I was motivated to get as many positions as possible as my chief protagonist for the points lead, Anthony Lazzaro, was having problems. I had a pretty good car to come back through the field, but I think we can make it a little better for tomorrow."

Race two of the Pirelli World Challenge Series presented by Cadillac from Road America will go off at 9:10 a.m. CT tomorrow, Sunday, June 21. The race weekend will be televised on NBC Sports, Friday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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