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LAKEVILLE, Conn., (July 5, 2013) -Team Cadillac drivers Andy Pilgrim and Johnny O’Connell finished second and third in their CTS-Vs in the first of two races at this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac Grand Prix of Lime Rock.
The Cadillac duo started from the front row for today’s 50-minute race with O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) on pole. From the drop of the green with a rolling start the Georgia based driver sped off into the lead. On lap five, O’Connell was held up in traffic, giving way to the eventual winner Mike Skeen in his Corvette. Following the only caution flag of the race on lap 33, O’Connell was running second with Pilgrim (Boca Raton, Fla.) in third. Coming through the last turn of the final lap O’Connell was held up and teammate Pilgrim used his momentum to carrying him by into second at the checkered flag.
“The start was nice and clean,” Pilgrim said. “Mike got me at the beginning. The CTS-V stayed with me really well the entire race. The guys were coming. It was really dependent on how you negotiated the traffic. Sometimes Randy [Pobst, No. 6 Volvo] was two seconds behind, the next lap he was one back.”
“Johnny got balked coming down the hill on the last lap by a green Mustang on the outside,” he said. “I had a good run and I knew Ende [Duncan, No. 24 Audi] was right behind me so I had to keep going and I was able to get the position.”
O’Connell knows that traffic can be a gamble on a tight track like Lime Rock.
“I had a good start,” O’Connell said. “Then we caught up to lap traffic and encountered a guy who was a little unpredictable. I guessed one-way, which is the way the lapper went and Skeen went the other and ended up getting the position. Skeen ran a good race. He went for it. In these hot conditions, the tires were really working. Everyone was sliding around.”
“After the caution everyone had a chance to cool their tires,” he continued. “I thought Skeen would come back to me. I put a lot a pressure on him at the end going into the last turn and I got choked up a little which allowed Andy to get by me.”
For tomorrow’s second race of the Pirelli World Challenge weekend, O’Connell will again start from pole based upon today’s fastest race laps with Pilgrim right behind in third for the standing start.
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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