Local Hero Joins Papis and Pilgrim in Team Cadillac's Quest for SPEED GT Championships
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. - With the drivers and manufacturers championships on the line in the penultimate round of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT on Sept. 3, Team Cadillac will have three bullets in its gun at the Grand Prix of Mosport. Ron Fellows of Mississauga, Ont., will be aiming for a repeat victory in the SPEED GT race at Mosport International Raceway.
Fellows will pull double duty on Labor Day weekend, driving Team Cadillac's third CTS-V in Saturday's 50-minute SPEED GT sprint and sharing the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R with Johnny O'Connell in Sunday's 2-hour, 45-minute ALMS race. The Canadian ace considers Mosport his home track; he's raced on the fast 2.46-mile circuit since he began his career in 1977. Fellows is one of North America's most versatile and accomplished road racers, competing in SCCA, ALMS, Grand American, and NASCAR events in 2005 with GM vehicles.
"Last year at Mosport, my strategy for the SPEED GT race was simple: Go fast, win the pole and win the race," said Fellows, who ran the fastest lap of the race en route to a flag-to-flag victory in the series' seventh round. "This year it's going to be tougher, but I'm going to try hard to repeat."
Fellows joins Team Cadillac at a critical point in the championship race with two events remaining on the 11-race schedule. Cadillac CTS-V driver Andy Pilgrim holds a five-point lead in the drivers' standings going into Mosport, with his teammate Max Papis in fifth. Cadillac is second in the manufacturers championship, seven markers behind Porsche (52-45).
"My role is to support Andy, Max and the team in any way possible," Fellows said. "We're in a different situation than last year. It's late in the season, and Team Cadillac is in a fierce battle for the championships. Our goal is to have all three Cadillacs finish at the front and shut out the Porsches."
In addition to this heavy responsibility, Fellows will also carry a heavy burden at Mosport. As a "guest" driver who has not competed in previous rounds of the SPEED GT series, he will haul 150 pounds of ballast. Points leader Pilgrim has 180 pounds of REWARDS weight, while Papis has the lightest load among the trio with 40 pounds of SCCA-mandated ballast.
"My crew chief calls the 150 pounds of lead the 'Ron Fellows Rule'," Fellows laughed. "It's not just my car that's heavier than last year; all of the CTS-Vs are carrying more weight. Team Cadillac's engineers and crew are exceptional, and I'm looking forward to working with them."
The feeling is mutual: "We're excited to have Ron in a Cadillac CTS-V again," said Team Cadillac program manager Dave Spitzer. "The last time Ron raced with us in Mosport, we celebrated on the top step of the podium.
"He's a tremendously talented driver and a long-time member of the GM Racing fraternity," Spitzer added. "Ron is magic around Mosport, and the support of his Canadian fans adds to the excitement of racing there.
"There are a number of championship scenarios, but our first order of business is to win the race, whether it's Ron, Andy or Max," Spitzer declared. "We've got three powerful bullets loaded in the chamber."
The 50-minute SPEED GT race at the Grand Prix of Mosport will start at 4 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Sept. 3. The race will be televised on the SPEED Channel on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. EDT.
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