Cadillac Racing drivers Michael Cooper and Johnny O’Connell are heading to the 2016 Long Beach Grand Prix in first and second in the Pirelli World Challenge driver’s championship after taking podium finishes at both Circuit of the Americas and the St. Petersburg Grand Prix earlier this year.
Cooper, who is currently in his first year with Cadillac Racing and the Cadillac ATS-V.R, leads veteran O’Connell in the series 362 points to 360. O’Connell will have the edge at Long Beach this weekend, however, as newcomer Cooper has yet to race on the 1.9-mile 11-turn Long Beach course.
“I have never been to Long Beach before, I’ve been watching onboard videos from last year and utilizing simulators that have the track layout to try and get a feel for the layout,” said Cooper. “Our set-up work in practice won’t be any different than any other weekend. Even though qualifying is at a premium, we need to be confident that the car will be consistent on a longer run. It is not guaranteed that there will be a lot of cautions.”
O’Connell is also determined to turn in a good finish in Southern California after becoming entangled in a wreck there in 2015.
“Naturally I feel I have unfinished business after last year,” said O’Connell. “I was running in third when I got taken out. I felt our Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe was capable of winning that race. The limited track time at Long Beach, is something I hope works to our advantage this weekend. With the exception of the Porches, I think the competition has been amazingly close in the first four races.”
Cadillac Racing will take to the track on Sunday, April 17th at 10 a.m. PT for the Pirelli World Challenge Long Beach GP. The race will air later that day on CBS Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET.