O’Connell & Baldwin Are Up To The Challenge
LIME ROCK, Conn. – Johnny O’Connell and Jack Baldwin took home Pirelli World Challenge wins in GT and GTS classes respectively on Saturday at Lime Rock Park during the Cadillac Lime Rock Park Grand Prix.
The win was the third of the season for both O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R, and Baldwin, in the No. 73 Motul/StopTech/Foametix Porsche Cayman S. O’Connell’s win also netted Cadillac Racing its first 1-2 finish of the season.
O’Connell started from the Motul pole and led the 49-lap race flag-to-flag at an average speed of 93.710 mph. On Friday in round eight, O’Connell fell to third place at the flag.
“Yesterday I went to sleep and I thought, ‘You know, I drove a strong race yesterday,’” said O’Connell. “It was just the luck of traffic there. I’m very, very pleased with how things went today. It’s a shame Mike (Skeen) had issues with the Corvette, as we would have like to resumed that battle. We made some changes to the Cadillac CTS-V.R after Friday and expected it to have the type of run we did.”
O’Connell’s teammate Andy Pilgrim driving the No. 8 Cadillac Racing CTS-V.R finished second for the second straight day in a row, while Randy Pobst in the K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 finished third. Pilgrim’s pass on Pobst for second place on lap nine netted him the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race Award.
Pilgrim praised the entire GT and GTS field for their cleanliness in round nine. As in round eight, only one full course caution slowed the 50-minute race on the 1.53-mile, seven-turn “bullring.”
“Running this race as green as we did was a testament to the skill level of the lot of the guys here,” said Pilgrim. “Guys are getting good at using their mirrors. It was really fun racing; congrats to Johnny and Cadillac Racing and it was fun running with Randy.”
Behind the top three, James Sofronas in the No. 14 GMG/Swisher Racing/Mobil 1 Audi R8 LMS and Oliver Bryant in the No. 33 Fusion WorldWide Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT-3 completed the top five.
Round eight winner Mike Skeen in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet Corvette, retired after just one lap with a mechanical issue.