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Cadillac V-Performance Racing driver Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y.) and Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) will start the Pirelli World Challenge Long Beach Grand Prix from ninth and 12th on the grid, respectively, for tomorrow’s 1 p.m. ET start.

The drivers were greeted this morning with a drying track from overnight rains. Practice and qualifying were back-to-back and the Cadillac drivers and engineers were adjusting the Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupes to the changing track conditions.

In qualifying, Cooper posted a time of 1:19.494 that will have him start his No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe from the fifth row. O’Connell drove his No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe to a time of 1:19.779 that will have him one row back in 12th.

“Practice was a little bit of a struggle,” Cooper said. “I stayed late with the Cadillac guys last night and we dug through everything and got the Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe better. Practice this morning was sketchy. The track was wet, especially where the drift cars have been it was like an ice rink. I had to tip-toe through that section. When it came to qualifying you have to be a little brave. We just don’t have the speed of some these other cars right now. We will race hard tomorrow.”

“Naturally I am a little bit disappointed for myself and the team,” O’Connell said. “We made some set-up changes that may not have been optimal for the way the track was this morning. It is tough when you see where Alvaro [Parente] is with the McLaren. The adjustments that have been place on us from last year are showing up on myself and Michael Cooper. We are struggling a little. It was one of those deals where I knew I didn’t have a pole car, but maybe a top five car. Sometimes you get beat. All we can do is dig deep, race hard and work together as a team. We will rise to the occasion tomorrow and race hard.”

Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing


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