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Cadillac V-Performance Racing drivers Johnny O’Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.), and Ricky Taylor (Lake Mary, Fla.) will start the first of a double-race weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) from the second row for the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship. Teammates Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y) and Jordan Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) will start from the sixth row.

The drivers were greeted this morning with temperatures nearly 20-degrees cooler than they practiced yesterday at the 2.4-mile, 10-turn undulating natural terrain road course located 30-minutes north of Toronto. In qualifying O’Connell had the wheel of the Velocity Red No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe for the 15-minute session. He was still getting the feeling of the Cadillac as he had little practice time this morning thanks to red flags during the session. He was able to post a lap time of 1:15.46 good for a second row starting position for tomorrow’s 60-minute two-driver race.

“I am pleased with qualifying,” O’Connell said. “Once again we had a practice session this morning that because of red flags, I didn’t get to drive in. Ricky did a great job getting the set-up on the car. I think with another half-hour of tuning on it we might have improved a few places. We are P4 for tomorrow to start. That is the best starting spot I’ve had in a life time it feels like. There is a lot of what-ifs ahead of us, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”

“Johnny did a good job in qualifying,” Ricky Taylor said. “I think our Cadillac is good on old tires. The Ferrari has a lot of pace. The Cadillac ATS-V.R is running strong here at CTMP. I think we will be a little more competitive than we were at VIR [Virginia International Raceway]. We have been practicing our driver changes and leaving the pits, so that additional work will help us in the race tomorrow.”

Cooper had the controls of the Vector Blue No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R. On the first lap of qualifying he immediately noticed that the LF4.R Twin-turbocharged engine had reduced power. He came to pit lane and was able to recycle the electronics and that fixed the issue. The team then noticed an problem with the right front and made quick work on a repair. During this time a red flag stopped the session and he wasn’t able to record a lap time. He will start the race from the sixth row.

“I noticed we had an issue with the electronics on the first lap,” Cooper said. “I had to pit and we basically hit control-alt-delete and everything was fine again. It happens, these cars have so much electronics running through them. While on pit lane the team noticed I had an issue with the right front and the Cadillac Racing guys did quick work to get it fixed and by that time the session was red flagged and I didn’t record a time. We started dead last at VIR and turned it into a podium. Jordan and I have some work to do again.”

“At VIR we started last and ended up third,” Jordan Taylor said. “We have 60-minutes to make moves tomorrow. Traffic will play a big role tomorrow. But this track has room to get by the slower cars. We will be ready for the race. Michael and I came back at VIR, we will have to do the same tomorrow.”

Source. Kyle Chura/Cadillac Racing


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