TOOELE, Utah – Cadillac Racing had a tough day at the Pirelli World Challenge GT Championship race one run at Utah Motorsports Campus this afternoon.
Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y.) starting from the first row was quickly engulfed in cars at the start. Exiting Turn 1 he was third as the field went yellow. On the restart going deep into the first turn Cooper got into the McLaren of Alvaro Parente sending him into the dirt and retirement from the race. Cooper gathered his Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe back up and went onto finish 14th. Teammate Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) had a similar result coming home in 15th following a spin in Turn 1 as well as fighting a loose car all race.
“On the start it was ok,” Cooper said. “We are down on power to a lot of these cars. The third place car drove around me and I was trying to hold the rest of the field through the first three corners. On the restart I was defending pretty hard and I didn’t realize how slippery it was at the entry of Turn 1 and I clobbered Parente. I feel bad for taking him out. I feel worse that I let the team down.”
“Lot of drama in the opening laps,” O’Connell said. “It worked to my advantage I was able to get up to sixth place. Fighting a loose race car going into Turn 1 the rear end came around and I just couldn’t catch it this time. I think this is about the first time in 20 years that I have spun in a race. Disappointed. We race as hard as we can with what we have. We are not happy with these results. We will try to improve things for the second race tomorrow.”
The Pirelli World Challenge Series races from Utah Motorsports Campus will be televised on the CBS Sports Network Sunday, August 21 at 2 p.m. ET. Follow the action with live-streaming at MotorTrendOnDemand.com and live timing via http://livetiming.net/pwc/.