The tight nature of the Long Beach Grand Prix track ruined Cadillac Racing’s chances at securing a podium in this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge race at the street course.
Cadillac ATS-V.R drivers Michael Cooper and Johnny O’Connell finished the race in 14th and 20th, respectively, with both of them taking damage headed into Long Beach’s treacherous Turn 1.
Cooper, who started from the fifth row on the grid, was hit several times as the PWC field headed into Turn 1 on the opening lap, which pushed him back to 15th. O’Connell, meanwhile, drove deep into Turn 1 and hit the wall, causing heavy damage to the front of his car, but he was able to continue.
On Lap 8 the session a yellow flag flew after a fire hydrant broke and leaked water onto the track, at which point Cooper sat 15th and O’Connell sat eighth. Cooper gained one position following the restart and finished 14th overall. O’Connell was pushed back to 20th after attempting to make a pass for seventh and getting pushed into the barrier.
“The first thing that comes to mind is Cadillac’s motto Dare Greatly,” O’Connell said post-race. “I Dared Greatly today. I left everything I had out there on track today. It is unfortunate. All we can do is keep digging and win for Cadillac. We will put this one behind us and move onto Virginia. When you have one arm tied behind your back, what do you do?”
The race winner was McLaren 650S GT3 driver Alvaro Parente, who set a lap record on his way to taking pole position Saturday. Porsche driver Patrick Long was second behind the Portugese driver, with Parente’s teammate, Bryan Sellers, rounding out the podium.
PWC heads to Virginia International Raceway on April 28th-30th for the next round of the 2017 season. Click here for full results from Long Beach.