SEBRING, Fla. (March 17, 2004) – Italian Max Angelelli made an immediate impact in his SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT debut by pacing the combined SPEED GT practice sessions at Sebring International Raceway today. Phil McClure, of Floris, Iowa was second fastest in practice, while Andy Pilgrim, of Delray Beach, Fla. was third.
Just as the sun began to set on the Sunshine State, SPEED GT took to the track in what proved to be an exciting session under the lights. Angelelli, who drove the No. 16 Cadillac/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose/OnStar Cadillac CTS-V, set the fast lap time of 2:12.770 (100.323 mph) in the evening session.
“Obviously I was pushing,” Angelelli said of his run. “I made a good lap with no traffic. The car seems to be pretty good. We tested this car all last year. So, I can say that I know the car quite well. Actually, it is exceeding my expectations because the race car is even better than the test car.”
McClure, the defending Sebring SPEED GT race winner and track fast lap record holder, turned the second fastest lap of the day in the evening session with a 2:12.884 (100.237 mph) in his No. 73 Aggregate Industries/3R-Racing Corvette Z06.
Pilgrim, Angelelli’s teammate, also helped Cadillac’s debut when he drove the No. 8 Cadillac/Mobil 1/Motorola/Bose/OnStar Cadillac CTS-V to the third fastest lap with a 2:12.958 (100.182 mph).
Defending series Champion Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., was fourth fastest and Lou Gigliotti, of Dallas, Texas, completed the top five.
SPEED GT qualifying is set for 11:45 a.m. (EST) Thursday, March 18 as part of the 52 Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. The SPEED GT Round One race will make its standing start at 4:40 p.m. Friday, March 19. Friday’s race will be broadcast Sunday, March 21 at 1:00 p.m. (EST).