Cadillac Racing’s Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim earned themselves a 1-2 finish in Long Beach Sunday following Corvette Racing’s podium-dominating performance on Saturday. The victory marked O’Connell’s 11th career win in a Cadillac.
O’Connell got the redemption he was looking for after leading last year’s Long Beach Grand Prix for almost the entire race and suffering a break down just 5 laps from the finish line. He got off to a strong start Sunday and survived a restart after a caution flag during the first lap. He led the entire 31-lap race around the 1.9-mile street circuit, only being pressured for a pass by teammate Andy Pilgrim, who finished a close second.
“I got a pretty good start,” O’Connell said. “Andy may have gotten a little better launch than I did, but there was no way I wasn’t going into Turn One deep. The first couple laps were very challenging. The car was really sliding around after the restart, then the Pirelli tires came in and the car really came to me.”
Pilgrim also had a good start, and despite being pressed by R.Ferri Motorsport’s Anthony Lazzaro in his No. 61 Ferrari 458 GT3, held on to second position the whole race for a 1-2 Cadillac finish.
“Johnny was on the inside, so I was happy to slot in behind him into Turn One. Our plan was to work hard at the beginning of the race as we thought it would get slippery towards the end with our heavy car. We both were sliding at the end,” said Pilgrim. “Traffic worked in our favor. Anthony got hurt twice toward the end of the race with slower cars, so that helped. I had a good car, it was going away at the end, but that is to be expected. A good day for Cadillac.”
The finish gives Pilgrim the lead in GT point’s standings heading into the next round of Pirelli World Challenge action at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. That event will be a double-header weekend, beginning on April 25 and ending on April 27. All races in the Pirelli World Challenge series are available for streaming online throughout the series right here.