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Dec 31, 1969

Dec 31, 1969

 

Cadillac Racing Fourth in Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Race at Lime Rock Park

Cooper and Jordan Taylor fourth, O'Connell and Ricky Taylor 11th

Cadillac V-Performance drivers Michael Cooper (Syosset, N.Y) and Jordan Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) finished fourth in the first of a double race weekend at the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Championship at Lime Rock Park today. Teammates Johnny O'Connell (Flowery Branch, Ga.) and Ricky Taylor (Lake Mary, Fla.) were classified 11th in class (26th overall) after an on track incident.

Earlier in the afternoon, under rainy conditions, Cooper drove the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe to a fifth place qualifying run with a time of 58.02 around the 1.5-mile, 7-turn Lime Rock Park circuit which had him start race one from the third. O'Connell had the wheel of the No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe for qualifying and posted a lap time of 58.29 on Pirelli wet tires that had him start from the fourth row in eighth.

At the start of the race Cooper was able to slot the Vector Blue ATS-V.R into fourth place for the opening stint of the 60-minute race. Thirty-two minutes into the race both Cadillac race cars pitted for the mandatory driver change. Jordan Taylor exited the pits in the No. 8 Cadillac followed by his brother Ricky in the No. 3. Seven minutes later Ricky, running fifth, was hit from behind by the No. 14 Porsche which sent him into the wall outside of Turn 1. The wet conditions had him stuck and a full course caution flew to extricate the Velocity Red ATS-V.R from the tire wall. On the restart Jordan Taylor was able to hold his position and come to the checkered flag in fourth.

"It was a pretty good run for the No. 8 car," Cooper said. "We moved up from fifth to fourth. There was a lot of excitement out there with the lap traffic at this tight track. We will take some good points and move on to tomorrow. That Porsche is pretty quick."

"Our run was ok," Jordan Taylor said. "We had a top three or four car. Michael and I were held up by the No. 2 Mercedes, if we could have got by him we were on the podium. Some guys are more disrespectful than others when you come up on them, like what happened to Ricky. I think we can go on to tomorrow with some good fourth place points. It could have been worse, could have been better. We will come back and race hard tomorrow."

"Disappointing," O'Connell said. "We had a fourth or fifth place run going. It is unfortunate what happened. My start was pretty good. Everyone was clean. Traffic played into the hands of the Porsche and Audi. By the time I got a good gap to get a fast lap for tomorrow the edge was off of the tire. From third to sixth place the GT cars are very close. The Porsche and Audi seem to have a little more."

"I think a lack of experience and maybe getting into the ABS a little too much so he couldn't stop resulted in me being punted off the track," Ricky Taylor said. "I never saw him coming. I haven't seen the video, but I am not sure why he went for that move he is not even racing in our class. I thought our race was going pretty good. We were in a good points position. It is a shame to have it end that way."