O’Connell & Lee Grab World Challenge Poles


LIME ROCK, Conn. – Johnny O’Connell and Andy Lee posted the fastest laps in GT and GTS respectively during Thursday’s qualifying session for Pirelli World Challenge round eight during the Cadillac Grand Prix of Lime Rock Park.

GT and GTS cars will take to the grid for round eight Friday at 12:10 p.m.

O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing/Cadillac CTS-V.R claimed his fourth pole of the 2013 season after posting a time of 51.271 at 103.497 mph. His lap also eclipsed the previous Pirelli World Challenge qualifying lap record at Lime Rock Park that was set by Lou Gigliotti in 2005.

“It is hot out there today,” said O’Connell. “I have to hand it to Team Cadillac. We were fast right off of the trailer. They have a lot of data from here with all of the years that Corvette has run this track in the past. We had a very reasonable car right from the start.”

“I was using every bit of the road in qualifying and dirt tracking the car around here this afternoon,” added O’Connell. “I dropped a wheel off at the exit of West Bend coming down the hill. I was pushing the Cadillac hard. Lime Rock is to road racing what Bristol is to NASCAR. Traffic is going to be difficult. I think whoever keeps a cool head and doesn’t make mistakes will pull this one (Round 8) off.”

O’Connell’s teammate Andy Pilgrim in the No. 8, Cadillac Racing/Cadillac CTS-V.R qualified second with a 51.358.

“That makes it a nice fourth of July with two American Cadillac CTS-Vs on the front row here at Lime Rock,” said O’Connell.

Mike Skeen in the No. 2 Hawk Performance Chevrolet Corvette qualified third after posting a 51.664. Rounding out the top five in GT are Randy Pobst in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 who posted a 51.679 and Duncan Ende in the No. 24 STANDD.org/Merchant Services Audi R8 LMS who posted a 51.769.

James Sofronas qualified sixth in the No. 14 GMG/Swisher Racing/Mobil 1/Audi R8 LMS (51.849), ahead of Alex Figge in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 (52.062), Tim Pappas in the No. 54 Black Swan/Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 (52.139), Oliver Bryant in the No. 33 Fusion World Wide/Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3 (52.375). Rounding out the top 10 is Alex Welch in the No. 08 Spyder/Lasso/GMG/Audi R8 LMS (52.481).