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TORONTO, (July 20, 2014) – Cadillac Racing driver Andy Pilgrim finished fifth in today’s Pirelli World Challenge Series Honda Indy Toronto through the streets of Exhibition Place. Teammate Johnny O’Connell came in eighth.
Pilgrim (Boca Raton, Fla.) started his No. 8 Cadillac CTS.V.R from eighth position based upon his fast lap from yesterday’s race. Teammate O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) started the shortened 37-minute race from the ninth grid positon. Although there was a dry line, off the racing line there was still some wet spots prompting the series officials to deviate from the standing start and green flag a rolling charge to Turn One. As the race progressed Pilgrim and O’Connell, held back by performance adjustments, were subject to taking what the over exuberance of their competition would provide. The positions made up from their starting positions were “gifts” from car contact and spins.
“It was really a tough race,” Pilgrim said. “We are down on performance everywhere. I can’t stay with a guy on the straight-away to get in a position to make a pass. It is difficult to compete at the front with these top drivers when you are so handicapped. Fifth place is an absolute gift. A couple of guys went out and that is my fifth place. I think I passed one car. It was the second race of the weekend and there was a lot of rubbing going on out there today. The front guys were really mixing it up good.”
O’Connell also had trouble coming back from the ninth position on the grid.
“A standing start would have helped us a lot,” O’Connell said. “It is so hard to pass here on this track. We are usually good on a standing start. I am not sure why they went to a rolling start. We don’t have pace really with anyone. I have never worked so hard for an eighth place finish. The race was cleaner than I thought it would be today. I was hopeful after the last caution that there would be some fireworks and there was. Without the craziness in front of us we were a tenth place car.”
The Pirelli World Challenge races from Toronto will air on the NBC Sports Network, Sunday, August 10 at 1:30 p.m. Race two will tomorrow, Sunday, July 20 at 12:15 p.m.
The series will travel to Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course for the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix presented by StopTech August 1 – August 3.
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