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Michael Cooper: Snatching Silverware In Wisconsin

Cooper looks back on the PWC weekend at Road America

Road America is a tricky track. The four miles of asphalt located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin has a little bit of everything. From high speed straights to high speed braking zones and that great infamous Kink. The track challenges drivers in plenty of ways, from heavy braking to corners that are taken flat-out. The Kink is one of my single favorite corners in the world, every driver has their guts tested through this 140 mph bend.

The #8 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe rolled off the trailer hooked-up on Thursday morning. We continued to improve on the set-up through the afternoon test session. Following the first official practice, I felt that a top five in qualifying would be like a pole. We were able to qualify the #8 Cadillac in sixth, right behind the team car of Johnny O’Connell in fifth, a job well done by Johnny.

At the start of Race 1, I was able to get up into fifth place exiting the first turn. Patrick Long in his Porsche defended his fourth place position to the inside of Turn 2, which left the outside line wide open. I established myself mirror to mirror with the Porsche at the turn in, only to get a violent hit as we tracked out sending me off the track and a trip through Wisconsin country side.

This grass excursion cost me four or five spots, one or two of which I was able to gain back heading down into Turn 5. From there it was a fight with championship leader Alvaro Parente, who’s McLaren was very strong from start to finish. I couldn’t get close enough to attempt a pass on him, settling for seventh place.

Michael-Cooper-Cadillac-Racing-PWC-2016-Road-America

Unfortunately for the team, Johnny’s #3 Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe was plagued with an electronics issue, which put him out of contention in both races.

Cadillac isn’t the first team in the paddock in the morning and the last team to leave for no reason. The crew and engineers are never satisfied with what we have. There were some pretty serious set-up changes from the Saturday afternoon race for the cooler weather expected on Sunday morning.

This paid off massively as I was able to have good battles with, and ultimately get past Patrick Long and Peter Cunningham’s Acura, two highly accomplished sports car drivers during the second race. We ended up going from sixth on the grid to a third place podium finish.

Michael-Cooper-Cadillac-Racing-PWC-2016-Road-America-2

Unfortunately for the team, Johnny’s  #3 Cadillac was plagued with an electronics issue, which put him out of contention in both races.

Cadillac isn’t the first team in the paddock in the morning and the last team to leave for no reason. The crew and engineers are never satisfied with what we have. There were some pretty serious set-up changes from the Saturday afternoon race for the cooler weather expected on Sunday morning.

This paid off massively as I was able to have good battles with, and ultimately get past Patrick Long and Peter Cunningham’s Acura, two highly accomplished sports car drivers during the second race. We ended up going from sixth on the grid to a third place podium finish.

Leaving Wisconsin, I think the entire Cadillac Racing team can be pretty happy with their efforts, they left no stone unturned. We head to Mid-Ohio in four weeks, another great natural terrain road course.