• Oct 23, 2007


Click above image to view more photos of the 2007 Cadillac CTS-V race car

Andy Pilgrim won his second race of 2007 this past weekend to secure Cadillac a Manufacturers Championship of the SCCA Speed World Challenge. Pilgrim started second in the race behind polesitter and points leader Randy Pobst, but took the lead on lap 21 eventually won by just under two seconds. Fellow team drivers Lawson Aschenbach and Ron Fellows finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Cadillac finished the season with 71 points followed by Porsche with 60, Chevrolet with 50, and Dodge with 24.

After the race, Cadillac announced that this would be the brand's last season in the series, at least for a while. "With the second-generation CTS-V still a year away from its introduction, we'll close this chapter of Cadillac in racing and explore future opportunities to showcase the performance of the Cadillac portfolio," he said. They referred to the current car as the "first generation", so we can only hope that this means that a second generation will follow.

Cadillac ends its dominant four-year run in the Speed World Challenge as the most successful team during that time. CTS-V drivers racked up twelve wins, the most of any manufacturer, as well as two manufacturer championships.

[Source: GM]



PRESS RELEASE:

Cadillac Wins SPEED GT Manufacturers Championship In Season Finale

Pilgrim Clinches Title for Team Cadillac with Victory in Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif., Oct. 21, 2007 – Andy Pilgrim propelled Cadillac to the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT manufacturers championship with a victory today in the series' season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Pilgrim drove his race-prepared Cadillac CTS-V to a 1.883-second margin of victory over Randy Pobst's Porsche to capture Cadillac's second manufacturers' title in three years.

Cadillac won the championship with 71 points to Porsche's 60, followed by Chevrolet (50) and Dodge (24). Pilgrim finished second in the drivers championship, 16 points behind Pobst (303-287). Team Cadillac driver Lawson Aschenbach finished sixth in the race and third in the final standings with 280 points.

Pilgrim qualified second and started the 28-lap race on the outside front row alongside Pobst. Pilgrim slotted in behind his rival at the start, but the pace was soon slowed for a full-course yellow after a multi-car accident in Turn 4. When racing resumed after six laps under caution, Pilgrim patiently stalked Pobst. On the 21st circuit, Pilgrim made his move in the hairpin at the end of the front straight.

"I knew Randy would challenge me if I attempted a pass, but I also knew he had the drivers championship on the line," Pilgrim said. "Even though that wasn't my best corner, I stuck it in there and that was it. He tried to go around the outside, but he knew he was done."

Pilgrim then fended off Pobst's late-race charge, and increased his margin in the closing laps.

"I was going deeper and deeper into the corners, using the rear tires harder and harder," Pilgrim reported. "I nearly lost the rear end three times in the last five laps going through Turn 9, and I told myself, 'Don't spin it now!' I was really just holding on for the last six or seven laps, but Randy was sliding around as well."

While Pilgrim controlled the race at the front, his teammate Aschenbach was in a pitched four-car battle with a Porsche and a pair of Vipers. Aschenbach had moved from eighth on the starting grid to sixth with an outside move in the first turn, and he moved up to fifth on the lap 7 restart. But the 120 pounds of success ballast that Aschenbach was carrying eventually took its toll, and he lost two positions on lap 24. When the fourth-place Porsche of James Sofronas went off on the next-to-last lap, Aschenbach took sixth.

"I tried as hard as I could to get by Safronas, but he was defending his line into Turn 1 and that was about the only spot I could catch him," Aschenbach explained. "It was a tough race carrying so much REWARDS weight. Team Cadillac did a great job as always, and it was a dream come true to race with them this year."

Ron Fellows brought his Cadillac CTS-V home in seventh today. He dropped back at the restart, and then protected Aschenbach's position in the closing laps to ensure that Cadillac would have a car among the top-six finishers to win the manufacturers championship.

"We had a bit of a handful for a few laps, but it all worked out because we were able to stay back and protect Lawson," said Fellows. "Andy had things covered at the front, and if something had happened to him, Lawson and I were sixth and seventh. It was like playing a deep back with a two touchdown lead."

Team Cadillac concluded the 2007 season with three victories (Charlotte, Atlanta and Laguna Seca) and a total of 12 wins since the team's debut in 2004. Cadillac has won two manufacturers championship (2005, 2007) and Pilgrim captured the drivers championship in 2005.

"This is an outstanding moment for Cadillac," said Team Cadillac technical director Lynn Bishop. "To win the most races in the series over the last four years, and to win two manufacturers championships, we couldn't be happier. The team of drivers we have is the best, and Andy Pilgrim is the consummate professional. He showed what he could do today with class and style."

"We have made a concerted effort to align Cadillac with the best of the best in everything we do," commented Cadillac general manager Jim Taylor. "In racing, aligning Team Cadillac with the best technical partners and the best drivers has proven the value of this strategy again by winning the SPEED GT manufacturers championship. We congratulate Andy Pilgrim on his victory today, and congratulate the entire team on another outstanding season.

"Cadillac has enjoyed great success in the four years we have competed in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge with the first-generation Cadillac CTS-V race cars," Taylor continued. "We've demonstrated the performance of the new line of Cadillac vehicles and we've changed the way that enthusiasts view Cadillac. With the second-generation CTS-V still a year away from its introduction, we'll close this chapter of Cadillac in racing and explore future opportunities to showcase the performance of the Cadillac portfolio."

The season-ending Laguna Seca SPEED GT race will be televised tape-delayed on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. ET on the SPEED Channel.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don't get me wrong I love the CTS-V as a performance sedan, but what was the point in racing it against a corvette of the same drivetrain? The corvette is a purpose-designed sports car, it should be more aerodynamic, lighter, and better weight distribution/c.g. Why spend the resources to modify a sports sedan for racing when you could spend those resources on a more optimized sports car and thus go faster?

      Ok Ok, I know, its marketing. But still...
        • 7 Years Ago
        "GM did not have any official Corvette entries in this series. All 'Vettes were privateer cars. The CTS was GM's factory effort."

        I know this, in fact it is my point.
        • 7 Years Ago
        GM did not have any official Corvette entries in this series. All 'Vettes were privateer cars. The CTS was GM's factory effort.

        About LeMans: The C6-Rs could be GM's GT-1 entry, and the CTS-Vs would give the GT-2 field fits.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The tires on these cars are more or less street tires, unless I am talking about the touring series. The tires on the GT1 and 2 cars are race tires.

      As far as the Caddy's, I'm sick of those cheaters. They drive dirty and they get away with making changes to their cars that others cannot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "As far as the Caddy's, I'm sick of those cheaters. They drive dirty and they get away with making changes to their cars that others cannot."

        What proof do you have of that moronic charge?
        Sure you're not thinking of Nascar's Camry?
        • 7 Years Ago
        What changes exactly? do you have a link to an article?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Pretty simple on the dirty driving. Watch any world challenge race. But to be specific, the 2005 final round at Mazda raceway. Between their three drivers they took out over three cars. Then GM ordered Lou Gigliotti to not only lose the lead, but to push the leader out of the way to get a Caddy into the lead. All of this so they could take the drivers and manufacturers championship.

        I can't think of much else that is so specific besides of course one of the most recent rounds at Road Atlanta. The SCCA messed up the whole race but when it camed down to it, I thought it was fair untill I heard that the Caddy teams unhooked the sway bars while the Porsche teams were not given a chance to do the same. That left Pobst with no chance at the win.

        Oh, and do we have to mention the Lowe's race?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Caddies...talk about stretching the rules a bit. Engine back 10 inches down 4 inches. Body dropped over the floor. Carbon fiber from the roof down. When they entered WC, they were not playing.

      They carry a lot of weight and restrictor in WC. Unrestricted, and less ballast they might do well in GT2.

      Racecar Engineering a couple months back had a story on the WC CTS-V.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is a testament to the Cadillac drivers that they won so much. The Corvettes had the same engine and less weight. I guess it could have been the chasis too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Question: Are these cars more on par with GT1 or GT2 in ALMS? Would cause quite a stir at LeMans a track (lots of long straights) that suits the CTS-V. We all know that they've got the legs. Doing hand to hand combat with Porsche, Ferrari & Panoz.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think GT1 might be a stretch for them, But GT2....
        • 7 Years Ago
        I watched the ALMS Laguna race and early on in the race the best lap thrown down by a GT1 Vette was 1:20, whereas I see from the Speed WC race summary the best lap for the CTS-V was 1:30. Also the best GT2 lap was 1:24 so I don't think this car would be competitive in that class either without upgrades.