BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -Cadillac Racing drivers Michael Cooper and Johnny O’Connell drove to second and third place finishes respectively in race one at the Pirelli World Challenge Alabama Grand Prix presented by Porsche.
Cooper (Syosset, N.Y.) was the pole sitter for race one. When the green flag dropped on the 50-minute race Alvaro Parente was able to get the power down in his mid-engined McLaren and take the lead into Turn 1. Cooper slotted in behind followed closely by teammate O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.). On lap seven the Cadillac ATS-V Coupe Pace Car was dispatched for a full course caution. On the restart, six laps later, Cooper and O’Connell were not able to make-up ground and brought their Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupes to the checker in second and third.
“On the start I didn’t have my engine rpm up enough and I was a little slow reacting,” said Cooper. “Parente nailed the start and just got by me. I was making some gains on some parts of the track on him before the yellow. Maybe if it went a few more laps at that time I would’ve had a shot at him. When the tires cycled through after the yellow I just couldn’t get back to him to make a pass. Tomorrow I start second. We will take a look at everything tonight and see if we can go a little a quicker.”
O’Connell knows having two Cadillacs on the podium is a good day.
“I had a pretty good start, I think one of the Nissan’s got into me a little,” said O’Connell. “I was watching Michael and Alvaro ahead of me the whole time. I was able to manage my tires and get right up there at the end. I used everything Pirelli gave us today. We didn’t get the win, but both Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupes on the podium is a pretty good day.”
The Pirelli World Challenge series race two from Barber Motorsports Park will take the green flag at 10:15 a.m. ET tomorrow. Live streaming of the event can be viewed at world-challenge.com/streamvideo/. The race will be televised Sunday, May 1 at 4 p.m. ET.
The Cadillac Dare Greatly tagline is drawn from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous Citizenship in a Republic speech which is celebrating its 106th anniversary this week.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Cadillac Racing, since its inception in 2004, has amassed 27 wins, 94 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.