Andy Pilgrim will not race with Cadillac Racing in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge, which has prompted his teammate of five years, Johnny O’Connell, to write an open letter expressing his gratitude and respect for the veteran driver.
O’Connell posted the letter to his Facebook page Monday, saying he “rarely” posts to social media, however he’s made an exception in Pilgrim’s case as he felt the need to not only point out that Andy is a great driver, but a well-respected person.
“For five years Andy pushed me hard, and made me become a far better driver than I ever was at Corvette,” O’Connell writes. “His dedication to the team and the fans of Cadillac never waned, and he always gave 100 percent. He would reach out to other competitors when they were seeking help, and never in all the time I’ve known him let his anger or frustration get the better of him. Respected and admired by all that know him.”
Also brought to light was the Andy Pilgrim Foundation, an effort which sees Pilgrim dedicate his time to promoting safe driving for teens.
“(Pilgirm) has met with top politicians in Washington and around the country, not for financial gain, but for the betterment of safer driving,” O’Connell writes. “After races while I was flying home to be a dad, he would be flying off to speak to high school teens and government officials to promote safe driving technique.”
It’s currently not clear who will replace Pilgrim in the second Cadillac ATS-V.R for 2016, however Sportscar365 points out a younger up-and-coming driver may be in line for the seat. Pilgrim spent 15 years racing with General Motors and was around for the inception of not only Cadillac Racing but also Corvette Racing, with which he has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona.