Cadillac drivers enthusiastic about racing in Canada
Cadillac V-Performance Racing drivers Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y), Jordan Taylor (Apopka, Fla.), Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.), and Ricky Taylor (Lake Mary, Fla.) are heading to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) for rounds three and four of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship to run May 19-21.
Cooper and Jordan Taylor are looking to improve on two third-place finishes from rounds one and two at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). O’Connell and Ricky Taylor are looking for better results following 13th and sixth place runs at VIR. The 2.4-mile, 10-turn CTMP circuit will challenge the 32-car SprintX field. First raced on in June of 1961 the track formerly known as Mosport was home to Formula 1 from 1967 to 1977. Drivers who have won there include Peter Revson and Jackie Stewart.
For Cooper and Jordan Taylor CTMP is a highlight of their racing schedule.
“Every year when I see CTMP on the schedule it makes me grin, there were a couple years that the series didn’t visit Bowmanville, which was disappointing,” Cooper said. “The track is a huge thrill to drive and the fans are true motorsport enthusiasts. My favorite part of the layout is the first section of blind apex high-speed corners, you have to commit a lot as a driver to be quick in this section. Without a doubt SprintX will be MUST see racing once again this weekend. Jordan and I had two strong podium runs at VIR and we’ll be looking to build on those to score even more points in Canada.”
“I’ve raced at CTMP four times,” Jordan Taylor said. “My first experience was almost ten years ago in an IMSA Lites race and more recently in the Daytona Prototype. We’ve had two third-place finishes and a win there the past few years, so it’s always been good to us. CTMP is one of the most intense tracks around the world. It’s extremely fast, you’re always on edge, and there is no room for error. I like the fact that it still has that old-school feel to it. You know the track that we’re driving on today has the same characteristics as it did back when legends raced there. I enjoy the challenge of it, but every time I go back, it takes a few laps to find your bravery again. I think there will still be some learning to do with this new Sprint X format. VIR could have gone much smoother for most teams, but I think our car had a pretty good weekend. We can take a lot of things we learned from that event into CTMP and try and build on it. It’s tough to pass with these GT3 cars, so qualifying and track position is going to be key.”
O’Connell, along with Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows, is amongst the winningest drivers at CTMP.
“I’ve for sure been lucky at CTMP,” O’Connell said. “I love the elevation changes and all of the fast corners that combine to make-up a very fun lap. To set a fast lap one has to dig deep and be committed. I’ve been told I have won there more than anyone – maybe not Ron Fellows. My most memorable was probably with Jan Magnussen getting the first prototype win for Panoz in 1999 in the ALMS. For round two of SprintX I expect us to have a better performing Cadillac, so it’s my hope both Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupes will find ourselves in a better position to battle for a win.”
“We have raced a couple of times in the Daytona Prototype era with one win at CTMP,” Ricky Taylor said. “I only have prototype experience there, so it will be a little bit new going there with a GT3 car. The layout is really enjoyable for the drivers, lots of elevation change, very quick corners and some very technical sequences. My favorite portion of the track is Turn 2 where the cars go over the crest of the hill with very little brake and carry tons of minimum speed through the corner. VIR was a great introduction to SprintX competition and I learned a lot about this style of racing. I think track position will be very difficult to make up so we will need to qualify very well in order to ensure a good result in front of the enthusiastic Canadian fans who we don’t get to see very often.”
The Pirelli World Challenge Series from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park can be viewed via live stream at MotorTrendOnDemand.com. Race one, starts at 1:35 p.m. ET on Saturday May 20. Race two from CTMP will be streamed at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. The broadcast of the race weekend will run on the CBS Sports Network, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Cadillac Racing, since the team’s inception in 2004, has amassed 31 wins, 110 podium finishes (including wins) and 24 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, 2014 and 2015 with Johnny O’Connell.
Additional information can be viewed at Cadillac.com, GM.com, media.gm.com, world-challenge.com, johnnyoconnell.com; Twitter @MSCooper1, @JohnnyOConnell, @Jordan10Tyalor, @RickyTaylor_10, @Cadillac; Facebook, GM, Michael Cooper, Johnny O’Connell, Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Cadillac.
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