Cadillac V-Performance Racing drivers Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper are returning for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) GT season. Joining the duo will be Jordan Taylor and Ricky Taylor for the five SprintX rounds behind the wheel of the Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe.
The Taylor brothers are celebrating an exciting International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona where they drove the all-new Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype to the overall victory. The PWC season will open with a sprint round in the streets of Saint Petersburg, Florida, at the Cadillac Grand Prix of Saint Petersburg on March 10-12.
O’Connell is coming off a three-race win season in 2016 (wins at Circuit of the Americas, two at Sonoma Raceway) and a pole position (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca). O’Connell is a four-time PWC GT driver champion and drives the Velocity Red No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe. Team-mate Cooper posted two wins last year (Barber Motorsports Park and Mid-Ohio) and a pole at Barber Motorsport Park. Cooper will start his sophomore season with his No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R in a new Vector Blue livery.
Jordan and Ricky Taylor will join the team for the PWC SprintX rounds. The SprintX rounds will take place at Virginia International Raceway, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Utah Motorsports Campus and the Circuit of the Americas. The dynamic of two-driver racing in the PWC series is an exciting prospect for the four Cadillac drivers. Driver pairings for the April 28-30 SprintX opening round at VIR are forthcoming.
“I’m very much looking forward to the 2017 PWC season,” O’Connell said. “We had one bad weekend last year that really cost us, and I’ve been training hard all winter looking for some redemption. Ricky and Jordan are doing a great job proving themselves on the world stage, especially with that great win at Daytona two weeks ago.”
Cooper is eager for the season to start and to drive with Ricky and Jordan.
“I’ve been counting down the days to the start of the season, so it’s nice that it is almost here,” Cooper said. “Being back with Cadillac Racing is still very exciting to me and I can’t wait to get my sophomore season in the GT class started. I’ve already heard of some other high-caliber efforts being launched for this year, which is great news.”
Ricky Taylor is looking forward to running in a sprint format again.
“I am extremely excited to share the ATS-V.R with the guys,” Ricky Taylor said. “I have always been a huge fan of the ATS-V.R program and of Johnny and Michael, so getting a chance to contribute to the team and hopefully another championship is a great opportunity. I haven’t done a real sprint race in quite a few years now, so it is very exciting. It will be more like a qualifying session than what I am used to, where tire wear is not a factor and the race is flat out from start to finish.”
Jordan Taylor is excited about running at VIR and Lime Rock again.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the Cadillac ATS-V.R,” Jordan Taylor said. “It’s been a few years since I’ve been with the team in competition, but I’ve always kept in contact and kept my eye on them during their race weekends. I’ve known and driven with Johnny since 2011 and Michael since 2013. They’ve both won championships and races in World Challenge, so I’m looking forward to driving alongside them and learning more from them.”