Back when GM was just getting back into racing with the C5 Corvette, they asked a handful of talented individuals to do battle against some of the world’s best drivers. Before long, this team was classified among the world’s best and they laid the foundation for a run of championship wins that stands unrivaled today.
Andy Pilgrim was one of those individuals. A computer programmer by trade, Andy got his start in the 1984 IMSA Renault Cup races, cutting his teeth and honing his craft in his own car. In his first race, he drove the car 1,400 miles to compete! “If I crashed it, I would have been taking a bus home,” he says.
Andy soon moved up to the IMSA Firestone Firehawk series in 1986, where out of 106 starts, he had 95 top-ten finishes, 49 top-three finishes, and 21 victories. His titles included the 1995 and 1998 IMSA Speedvision Cup championships, the 1997 IMSA GT1 championship, and the 1996 Brazilian GT2 title.
Corvette enthusiasts may remember Andy’s handiwork while he drove in some IMSA GT races with Tommy Morrison and John Heinricy in the Corvette Challenge series. When Corvette Racing was starting their trek on world domination, Andy Pilgrim was poised to assume the driving position in one of the new C5R Corvette race cars.
He and fellow Corvette Racing teammate, Ron Fellows gave Corvette Racing their first win at Texas Motor Speedway in September 2000. He co-drove a Corvette C5R in the Daytona 24-hour race with Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kelly Collins, finishing second in the GTS class behind the sister Corvette C5R. Andy grabbed two more ALMS GTS victories in 2002 and a runner-up finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTS class at Le Mans in a Corvette C5R two years in a row. His efforts secured him a spot in the National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
Andy has since moved to Corvette’s hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and now calls the NCM Motorsports Park his home turf. He offers coaching classes for teens, adults, as well as aspiring racers. The most recent opportunity to learn from one of the best comes thanks to the all-new Andy Pilgrim Driving Experience.
This 1-day program has been handcrafted by Andy and includes autocross runs and laps on track driving the C8 Corvette with 1-on-1 feedback from the pro himself. The day starts on the autocross track designed by Andy. After lunch, students head out on the NCM Motorsports Park’s 3.2-mile road course, a track that Andy claims is one of the best in North America. Students will receive 1-on-1 feedback between each session. As a cool-down from the day’s events, students will be invited to join Andy at the National Corvette Museum for a dinner and reception to end out the day’s events. Check out the Andy Pilgrim Driving Experience website for more info and to secure your chance to learn from one of the best!