Event Coverage: Pirelli World Challenge Race at Belle Isle


On Sunday the field took to the track for one practice session in the morning that showcased Mike Skeen's Hawk Performance Nissan GT-R as the quickest GT car. After the autograph session at the Optima Batteries display, it was time for Round 7 and it was sunny and warm with some dramatic winds. All of the drivers who were involved in the incidents from Round 6 were able to get their cars back in working order and fixed up to make the grid expect for Bill Zeigler who didn't have parts available to be ready in time to race.

Andy Lee P1 on the starting grid in the Best IT_Bondurant Chevrolet Camaro.

The start for the race was pretty smooth and the TruSpeed Privacy Star Porsche of Lawson Aschenbach took control right off the bat getting into turn 1 first, ahead of the Cadillac Racing CTS-V.R. Aschenbach missed the event at Miller Motorsports Park and was looking to dig down and pull as many points as he could out of the weekend and told me he was looking for a win.
Porsche was going hard against Porsche and Volvo and Cadillac were all up in the mix too. The Hawk Performance Nissan GT-R of Mike Skeen was chasing down David Welch in the GMG Racing Porsche and just went in too hard, smacking the back and side of the race car against the outside wall. This brought out a full course caution on lap 4 and GTS cars had to splice by him, with leaders Andy Lee and Peter Cunningham nearly missing the stopped GT car in the middle of the track.

Cadillac Racing driver Andy Pilgrim signing at the autograph session.

Johnny O'Connell was able to start reeling in Aschenbach and by the end of the race he was in a position to pounce. It was a repeat of the day before for O'Connell as he took the GT class win followed by Aschenbach in second and the K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 driven by Denver native Alex Figge in third.

Driver and TV host Justin Bell.

“There are days when racing is a lot like chess,” said Johnny O'Connell, driver of the No. 3 Cadillac Racing CTS-V. “Lawson did a great job. He got a better start than us but I saw two corners where I knew I was going to get him, and sure enough it was one of them where he made a mistake. I can't say enough about Cadillac Racing and the effort this team put in this weekend.”

O'Connell, Aschenbach, and Pilgrim on the GT Podium for Round 6.

Andy Lee also repeated his Round 7 result with the GTS class win in the Best IT/Bondurant Chevrolet Camaro. It was a cheerful sweep for GM in both classes and rounds on the home turf for the manufacturer. Lee and O'Connell are the point leaders heading into Mosport for Round 8.
“What a sensational weekend for our Best IT Camaro team,” stated Andy Lee. “It's nice to perform so well in Chevrolet's back yard. The Belle Isle venue is amazing and the fans in Detroit are the best! I couldn't be more proud of our team.”

GT and GTS Podium finishers from Round 7.

The Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle will air on NBC Sports, July 7th at 5pm EDT.
More informormation is available at www.world-challenge.com. Follow Pirelli World Challenge on Twitter @wcracing.

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