AUSTIN, TEXAS – Cadillac Racing drivers Michael Cooper and Johnny O’Connell will start this afternoon’s Pirelli World Challenge GT Series Championship race at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) from the first and second row in GT.
Cooper (Syosset, Ny) put in a lap of the 3.4-mile, 20 turn COTA circuit in 2:04.590 (0.002 off pole) good for a front row starting position of second in his No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe. Teammate and four time World Challenge GT champion Johnny O’Connell posted a time of 2:04.678 good for a second row starting spot in third. The duo are back on the track at 3:30 p.m. ET for the start of race one on this double race weekend at COTA.
“My qualifying run went better than expected,” said Cooper. “The Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe is really hooked up. When you have a car handling like mine is at a great track like COTA it is fun to drive, the car was just rockin. I am looking forward to the race. It is good to be upfront for my first race with Cadillac. For the race I will see how it plays out. If I have a second place car that will be awesome, but we are always looking to win. We worked hard on race distance set-up so we will see what everyone has this afternoon.”
O’Connell is glad to be back out racing.
“It is nice to be back on the track in the front of the fans in the Velocity Red Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe,” O’Connell said. “We worked through some set-up changes throughout practice and came into qualifying with a good car. I thought that Long (Pat Long, pole sitter in No. 31 Porsche) would go faster that he did. We have a great handling Cadillac for this afternoon. I am proud of the team. Michael did a great job to get on the front row. We have two Cadillac ATS-V.Rs at the front. Michael and I have slightly different set-ups on the cars, so we will see how it plays out. You have 10 cars within a second, so the big winner this afternoon will be the fans who are going to see some great racing.”
The Pirelli World Challenge Championship will open the season at the Circuit of the America’s with a double race weekend March 3-6, 2016. The race will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network, Sunday March 13 at 10:30 a.m. ET. Live streaming can be viewed at World-Challenge.com/streamvideo, live timing and Scoring at worldchallenge.growsites.net.
Cadillac Racing, since its 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. Cadillac Racing 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.
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, johnnyoconnell.com; Twitter @MSCooper1, @JohnnyOConnell1, @Cadillac; Facebook, GM, Michael Cooper, 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.