Andy Pilgrim, of Marina Del Rey, Fla., earned his first Pirelli World Challenge Championships victory since 2009 in the GT class and road racing great Jack Baldwin, of Marietta, Ga., earned his first World Challenge victory ever in the GTS class at Sunday's Pirelli World Challenge Long Beach Grand Prix presented by StopTech.
Pilgrim started second in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V and - as he had predicted after qualifying - was no match for polesitter Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, Ga., on the race's standing start as Pobst used the all-wheel drive on his No. 6 K-Pax Racing Volvo S60 to full advantage.
However, Pilgrim managed to slot into second place heading into Turn 1 and spent the next several laps searching for an opportunity to make a move. The opportunity presented itself in Turn 1 on Lap 9 of the 31-lap event and Pilgrim made the most of it. In fact, it turned out to be the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race.
"I think traffic played a little bit of a part in it," Pilgrim said. "Randy got stuck in traffic a little bit in the hairpin and I gained on him a little bit on that lap. It wasn't like I had a run on him, but I could stay with him. I just surprised him a little bit there. He was starting to move his brake point back a little bit and I noticed it. I just waited as late as I possibly could. The door was open and I went through."
"Andy just put a beautiful, surgical pass on me," Pobst added. "I had no idea he could gain that sort of advantage in the brake zone in (Turn) 1. He just studied for a while, realized he did have an advantage and he just took it like a surgeon cutting out a tumor. All of a sudden, it was just a beautiful pass."
Once he got around the Volvo, Pilgrim set sail and was never challenged for the remainder of the caution-free race. He beat Pobst to the stripe by 6.337 seconds to score his first World Challenge victory since 2009 at Road America - which ironically came in a K-Pax Volvo - and the 11th of his World Challenge career.
"The Cadillac ran very, very well," Pilgrim said. "It ran consistent and I think it being green the whole time really helped us. The car is so good in various ways. We're very, very happy, Team Cadillac is happy. Long Beach is a great race. To win Long Beach, I've never won it. I've been second a