Cadillac Racing will follow the rest of the Pirelli World Challenge Series field to Mid Ohio this weekend for Rounds 14 and 15 of the 2016 championship and is hoping to take a much-needed win at the 2.4-mile permanent road course.
Johnny O’Connell suffered engine misfire issues in PWC’s last two rounds at Road America, forcing him to limp home 23rd in the first race of the double header weekend and 19th in the second. Teammate Michael Cooper picked up a bit of the slack and claimed seventh in race 1 and third in race 2, but anyone familiar with Cadillac Racing knows they can do better. In late May, the team also had a tough outing to Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park that also only resulted in a single podium.
“Combine our bad luck at Road America as well as the flat tire at Lime Rock, and we really do find ourselves in a challenging situation,” O’Connell said. “But for that I think we’d be where we need to be at this point in the season. The thing is it seems every season, we have to fight back from adversity. The Cadillac Racing team always seems to be motivated by the challenge of being a little bit of an underdog.”
For Cadillac, Mid-Ohio is a solid place to try and turn things around. Both O’Connell and Cooper have wins to their name at the Lexington, Ohio track, with O’Connell’s first-ever win for Cadillac coming there in 2011. Additionally, Cooper enjoyed his first-ever race in the PWC series at the track in 2013 and is confident he can post a win this weekend.
“I’m always excited going into these weekends because I feel like we have a shot to win,” he said. “A lot of that is down to the preparation that Cadillac Racing does heading into the weekend. These guys have been working tirelessly, combing through notes and data from earlier in the year, as well as years past. Leaving no stone unturned to make sure the car is at its optimum for the race weekend.”
Cooper is third in the GT point standings, sitting 118 points behind leader Alvaro Parente and 75 points aft of second place’s Patrick Long. O’Connell took a major points hit after poor finishes at Road America and Lime Rock and is fourth in the driver’s standings with 68 points less than his teammate. Cadillac is also hoping to climb to the top of the manufacturer’s standings before season’s end, with the team currently third behind Porsche and McLaren.
The Pirelli World Challenge Series will take to the track at Mid-Ohio for Round 14 on July 30th at 4:35 pm ET and Round 15 at 11:00 a.m. ET on July 31st. You may stream the race live at this link, or wait until CBS Sports broadcasts a re-run of the event on August 4th at 4 p.m.