DETROIT – (Apr. 22, 2015) Cadillac Racing drivers Johnny O'Connell and Andy Pilgrim are heading to Birmingham, Alabama's Barber Motorsports Park looking for some Pirelli World Challenge points redemption after a very tough Long Beach weekend for rounds six and seven, Apr. 24-26.
Cadillac Racing is busy repairing the damage to O'Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) and Pilgrim's (Boca Raton, Fla.) Cadillac ATS-V.Rs following finishes of 22nd and 23rd at Long Beach just three days ago where the duo were both put into the wall by fellow GT competitors.
Barber Motorsports Park is an undulating 2.38-mile, 16-turn natural terrain road course that shares some traits with a street course. Designed to be a motorcycle track, the Barber design is tight and will be another challenge for the 40 car Pirelli World Challenge field. O'Connell and Pilgrim sit fifth and 12th respectively in the provisional GT point standings with one podium finish heading into Alabama this weekend.
"The Cadillac Racing guys are working hard repairing the damage that we received at Long Beach and we will be ready for this weekend at Barber," O'Connell said. "Based upon our practice times and Long Beach and our race set-up, I am looking to carry that competitiveness over to Alabama. I expect the McLaren to be especially strong at Barber. Redemption from Long Beach will be very easy, the drivers need to do their jobs and not hit anybody. I am sure the driver's meeting at Barber will be one for the record books."
O'Connell was fined $3,000 and 30 points for an incident that occurred on lap 15 of the Long Beach race. Having taken the lead into Turn Seven he was driving into Turn Eight, leading the race, and was hit just before the apex in the right rear quarter.
"In the history of motorsports the responsibility for a safe pass has always rested on the overtaking driver," O'Connell said. "That I have been fined and docked points from what happened at Long Beach is hard for me to understand. We, as a team, will pay the fine and continue to race hard and represent Cadillac with pride and passion."
Pilgrim is looking for a strong points weekend at Barber.
"I am sure this will be a driver meeting to remember at Barber and it needs to be after what happened last weekend at Long Beach," Pilgrim said. "I am not sure I have ever seen a more ridiculous race in my whole professional career in motorsports. The officials of our series will do all they can to address this, but each individual driver also has their part to play to get things back on track. We have 15 races to go and that is a lot of races. I will need to do all I can to claw my way back up the standings and it starts at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend. The Barber track is not a great place for passing and it will test every driver's patience, especially after Long Beach. This will hopefully be a character building weekend for the series, I believe we can pull it off."
The Pirelli World Challenge Series will travel to Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, Apr. 24-26 for a double race weekend. The races from Barber will be aired on CBS Sports Network, Sunday, May 3, 2 p.m. ET.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network Sunday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Cadillac Racing, since their inception in 2004, has amassed 26 wins, 91 podium finishes (including wins) and 22 pole positions. The team won the World Challenge Manufacturer Championship in 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Team Cadillac drivers have won the World Challenge Driver's Championship in 2005 with Andy Pilgrim and in 2012, 2013 and 2014 with Johnny O’Connell.
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today, Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com.
Additional information can be viewed at Cadillac.com, GM.com, media.gm.com, world-challenge.com, andypilgrim.com, johnnyoconnell.com; Facebook GM, Andy Pilgrim, Johnny O'Connell, Cadillac.
The Cadillac Racing media guide can be viewed at media.cadillac.com. For additional information please contact Kyle Chura, firstname.lastname@example.org or (248) 821-0468.