Cadillac back for PWC season; Taylors join for SprintX rounds

Cooper's new Vector Blue Cadillac. All photos: Cadillac Racing
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After a rare year knocked from the top of their perch in Pirelli World Challenge, the pair of Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.Rs will be back raring to go this season with a two-car effort confirmed for the full season.

Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper return, respectively, in the No. 3 and No. 8 Cadillacs. O’Connell retains the Velocity Red livery while Cooper’s No. 8 car shifts from the standard black to a new Vector Blue colors.

Meanwhile, they’ll have the Taylor brothers on board for the SprintX races at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Utah Motorsports Campus and the Circuit of the Americas. Jordan Taylor has had occasional PWC starts with Cadillac in the past, normally at Mid-Ohio, while Ricky Taylor is new to the series. Specific pairings will be determined later.

“Ricky and Jordan are doing a great job proving themselves on the world stage, especially with that great win at Daytona two weeks ago,” said O’Connell, Cadillac’s four-time PWC champion. “I am very much looking forward to working with them this season in the SprintX races. Amazing strides have been made the last several years in PWC that have made it a destination for top drivers. I plan to keep an open mind heading into the first SprintX round at VIR in April.”

“The championship-winning Cadillac ATS-V.R Coupe has established itself as a clear winner in the Pirelli World Challenge series,” said Rich Brekus, Global Director of Product Strategy for Cadillac. “Competing with and beating other top brands demonstrates and confirms the Cadillac V-Performance abilities on race tracks across North America.”

O'Connell's No. 3 Cadillac.
O’Connell’s No. 3 Cadillac.
O'Connell, Cooper, Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor.
O’Connell, Cooper, Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor.

Malcolm Stewart sidelined by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

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The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.