The last two champions of the Speed GT series will both be driving for Team Cadillac in 2007 in new CTS-V racers. Cadillac veteran Andy Pilgrim, the 2005 champ, will be joined by 2006 champion Lawson Aschenbach. Aschenbach finished in the top ten in every single 2006 race along with his single victory. The CTS-Vs will have a fresh color scheme of red and black with silver Cadillac script this year. They'll debut the new look publicly on February 3 at the Cadillac / Mobil 1 Super Bowl Celebrity Grand Prix go-kart race in Miami, Florida the day before the big game. Aschenbach and Pilgrim will run the full season and a third CTS may compete at certain events. For 2007 the CTS-V racer still has the look of the first generation production car, not the the new CTS that debuted at the recent Detroit Auto Show. The GM press release is posted after the jump.
[Source: General Motors]
Team Cadillac to Field Two Champions in 2007
Aschenbach Joins 2005 Champion Andy Pilgrim on New-Look Cadillac Team
DETROIT - Team Cadillac will have two champions on its roster in its pursuit of the 2007 SCCA SPEED World Challenge manufacturers championship. Lawson Aschenbach, the 2006 SPEED GT champion, will join 2005 SPEED GT champion Andy Pilgrim as full-season drivers on the Cadillac factory road racing team. They will wheel a pair of Cadillac CTS-V race cars sporting fresh new graphics.
"Team Cadillac is proud that we will have the last two SPEED GT champions in our stable this year," said Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "Lawson showed last season that he has the speed and the racecraft that wins championships. He's an articulate and intelligent young American driver, and we think he is going to be a great fit with Team Cadillac."
Aschenbach, 23, scored one win and finished in the top 10 in every race last year en route to the SPEED GT drivers championship. He'll be paired with Pilgrim, who finished third in the championship standings with one victory and four podium finishes.
"I've done two tests with Team Cadillac so far, and they went really, really well," said Aschenbach. "That was the first time I've driven a front-engined race car - all of my previous racing experience has been in open-wheel and rear-engined cars. It was an unbelievable ride in the Cadillac CTS-V on the first couple of laps. I really enjoyed the handling and the horsepower, I think the Cadillac is going to suit my driving style.
"Our goal as a team is to win the manufacturers championship for Cadillac in 2007," Aschenbach added. "Working with Andy is a great experience; he's helping me to understand the data and teaching me how to get the best out of the car. He's a first-class person, totally unselfish, and I couldn't ask for a better teammate."
Pilgrim has been with Team Cadillac since its inception, and 2007 will mark his fourth season in the black Cadillac race cars.
"Lawson is young, but he's already very experienced in racing and obviously has a lot of talent," said Pilgrim. "I'm looking forward to having him as a teammate. Our first goal is win the manufacturers championship. I'd like to win the sixth drivers championship of my career, but you can't plan to win a championship. I'll prepare for every race the best that I can, and the championship will take care of itself."
Team Cadillac will unveil its new look for 2007 at the Cadillac / Mobil 1 Super Bowl Celebrity Grand Prix go-kart race in Miami, Florida on Saturday, February 3, 2007. The new graphics package retains the team's hallmark black and red colors of previous years, and adds the famous Cadillac script.
"We wanted to connect the look of our Team Cadillac CTS-V race cars more closely with our Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit. marketing campaign," said Cadillac global marketing director Liz Vanzura. "Our campaign utilizes very prominent and bold placement of the iconic Cadillac script logo, so we've developed the new look of our CTS-V race cars to incorporate the Cadillac script. After all, our team's efforts on the race track are the racing manifestation of our Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit. (of championships) campaign."
Aschenbach will carry the No. 1 on his Cadillac CTS-V that signifies the series champion, while Pilgrim's car will wear his familiar No. 8. The third car in the Team Cadillac stable, the No. 16 CTS-V, may appear in selected events.
"Fans of the SCCA SPEED GT know that Team Cadillac has brought in great drivers and done some surprising things with the third car in the past," said Spitzer. "We intend to continue that tradition in 2007."
The 2007 SPEED World Challenge GT series will kick off at Sebring on Friday, March 16, 2007.
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