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LIME ROCK, Conn., (July 4, 2013) -Team Cadillac drivers Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim will start from the pole and second respectively for the first of two races at this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac Grand Prix of Lime Rock.
The team was greeted for the first practice session with near 90 degree temperatures.
O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) led both practice sessions in his No. 3 Cadillac CTS-V with teammate Pilgrim (Boca Raton, Fla.) at the top of the GT time sheet as well in No. 8 Cadillac.
In qualifying O’Connell set a pole time of 51.271 seconds on his fifth lap, his fourth of the 2013 season. Pilgrim set his time of 51.357 on lap three. The pair will start their CTS-V Coupes from the front row for the first of two 50-minute races to go off tomorrow at 12:10 p.m.
“It is hot out there today,” O’Connell said. “I have to hand it to Team Cadillac. We were fast right off of the trailer. They have a lot of data from here with all of the years that Corvette and Camaro have run at this track in the past. We had a very reasonable car right from the start.”
“In qualifying I was able to get a clean lap and put one together for the pole. That makes it a nice fourth of July with two American Cadillac CTS-Vs on the front row here at Lime Rock.”
With six right hand turns and one left hander managing the tires is key at Lime Park.
“I was using every bit of the road in qualifying and dirt tracking the car around here this afternoon. I dropped a wheel off at the exit of West Bend coming down the hill. I was pushing the Cadillac hard. Lime Rock is to road racing what Bristol is to NASCAR. Traffic is going to be difficult. I think whoever keeps a cool head and doesn’t make mistakes will pull this one off.”
Pilgrim likes the team’s start to the weekend so far.
“Practice was good for us today,” Pilgrim said. “We had a lot of clean running, no practice stoppages, so we were able to try a lot of different things on each car to see what works. We made some good changes for qualifying and I had a really good car. The experience of Team Cadillac really comes out at a track like Lime Rock. I don’t have a lot of races here at this track. I think I’ve only raced here about six times in my career.”
“With a 140-degree track temperature managing the tires will be critical in the race tomorrow. We cannot get frustrated.. You can’t over drive the car and the tires. We have an all Cadillac front row, so there is a friendly face starting next to me.”
The Pirelli World Challenge GT Series will run a double race weekend, July 5 and 6. The races from Lime Rock will be televised on NBC Sports, Saturday, July 20 at 4 pm ET.
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