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For Release March 24, 2012 11:30 a.m.
Team Cadillac’s Pilgrim Second, O’Connell Fourth in World Challenge Qualifying for GP of St. Petersburg
Outside Pole for Pilgrim, Thousandths of a Second off Top Spot
• O’Connell within a tenth of a second of Pilgrim
• Tight Grid, Traffic Big Challenges on Street Course
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – What a difference a year makes.
Andy Pilgrim put the No. 8 Cadillac CTS-V on the outside pole for Saturday’s opening race in the Pirelli World Challenge series, clicking off a lap at 1:14.899, just .199 behind polesitter Mike Skeen.
“Last year, with brand-new cars, very little testing, we came down here and qualified seventh and eighth,” Pilgrim said after the 45-minute session. “This year, we’re ready. I was very happy with my car.”
Teammate Johnny O’Connell put his No. 3 CTS-V Coupe fourth on the grid, timing in at 1:15.037.
“It’s a big improvement over last year,” he said. “Andy did a great job to put his car on the outside pole. I wasn’t real happy with the car, it had too much understeer, but it’s a great day for Cadillac. This is as close a grid as I’ve ever seen, and everything looks pretty good.”
Interestingly, both drivers posted their quick laps on the seventh time through the traps.
Starting position at St. Petersburg is very important because of the traffic the GT drivers will face. More than 50 cars will start tonight’s race on the 1.8-mile airport/street course.
“You just try to stay out of trouble,” Pilgrim said of the heavy concentration of cars. “Passing here is difficult, so you try to protect your starting position.”
The 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Series races tonight at 6 p.m. and again on Sunday at 11 a.m. through the Streets of St. Petersburg. Live streaming of both races is available, and the Cadillac Racing Media Kit is now available online.
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.
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