Cooper seventh, O’Connell eleventh
Lexington, Ohio – Cadillac V-Performance drivers Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y.) and Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) raced to seventh and eleventh place finishes respectively in today’s running of the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.
Based upon their fast laps from yesterday’s race, O’Connell started race two sixth with Cooper lining-up on the next row in seventh. The Cadillac racing drivers’ fate was pretty much sealed on the opening lap. At the drop of the green Cooper in his Vector Blue No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe was balked at the start and that allowed two competitors to get by him before the first turn. He got back on the throttle and came around the first lap in ninth positon. O’Connell was headed into the Key Hole running in fourth in his Velocity Red No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe on the first lap when a Porsche got loose on the outside of him and then he got out of sorts and had a lazy spin onto the grass. He recovered in 22nd position and proceeded to make his way through the field posting the fast lap of the race. At the checker it was Cooper seventh and O’Connell 11th with Alvaro Parente in his McLaren taking his second win on the weekend.
“At the start it was like Long Beach all over again,” Cooper said. “The Acura drove into a hole that wasn’t there and I if I didn’t lift he wrecks me and his teammate. They just went through that at Road America and we also saw some of that driving yesterday in the GTS race. If I don’t lift there and save my championship hopes there is a huge crash. After that I struggled for some speed. We were able to put in a good lap in qualifying on Friday, but we had trouble translating that pace to the race. The Cadillac Racing guys will pour over the data and we will be ready for Utah.”
“Unfortunately on the first lap the Porsche of Alec Udell got way out of shape on the outside then I got too far out of shape and then it was Road America all over again for me and I had to fight my way back through the field. I hope the fans enjoyed it. It is disappointing. This is all about points, it doesn’t take much to lose it and make it up. Hats off to my engineer John Lankes and the crew they gave me a heck of a Cadillac today.”
The team will travel to Utah Motorsports Park for the next round of Pirelli World Challenge SprintX races, Aug. 11-13.
Cadillac Racing, since the team’s inception in 2004, has amassed 32 wins, 118 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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