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Cayman Interseries - Sandridge Takes Second-Straight Pole At The Glen

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WATKINS GLEN, June 12, 2011: Mark Sandridge made it two poles in a row in Cayman Interseries competition Saturday in qualifying for the SVRA Historic Enduro 200 at Watkins Glen International in his white and red-and-yellow striped No. 49 Cayman S that pays tribute to his IMSA championship-winning 1994 Team Salad Porsche 911 RSR.

Sandridge, who also won the pole for The Mitty at Road Atlanta the last time he raced in the series, admitted he was somewhat surprised to take the top spot at Watkins Glen. He will share the front row with reigning Cayman Interseries Champion Lee Davis who clocked in second fastest on Saturday.

“I wasn’t expecting that, it was a nice little present,” said Sandridge, who trailed Davis on track for the majority of the session. “I was behind Lee and, frankly, tried to catch him, and wasn’t capable of catching him. He was actually a little bit too far ahead for me, but I need a rabbit out there, that’s how I qualify. I do better that way, he got away from me too fast, but we have spent a number of hours on this track, and it came back to me very quickly.”

Sandridge’s pole-winning time of 2:06.997 is the fastest Cayman Interseries lap of the weekend so far, but competitor’s didn’t have much of a chance to better that on Saturday. A heavy afternoon thunder shower brought an early end to the day’s schedule, including the cancellation of the weekend’s first sprint race.

Davis, who drives his black and red No. 33 Cayman S that carries the colors of the Advan Porsche 956s and 962s and Luna C Clothing, turned the second fastest qualifying time of the day with a lap at 2:07.212. Professional driver Tim Lewis, Jr., driving the No. 9 Cayman S owned by Jim Thomason, was third fastest with a lap time of 2:09.052. The No. 9 is themed after the pink and white Joest Racing/Blaupunkt Porsche 962C that was driven to at third-place finish in the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans by Hans Stuck and Bob Wollek.

This weekend’s Watkins Glen race marks the second anniversary of the first public appearance of the Cayman Interseries. Exactly two years ago, series founder and Napleton Porsche of Westmont General Manager Ron Barnaba and Cayman Interseries Chief Driving Instructor and Coach Jack Baldwin, turned up at The Glen with the first Interseries car ever built. The red-and-white Cayman S was themed after the now famous No. 23 Porsche Salzburg 917K that scored Porsche’s first overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970.

“Two years ago we were running, Scott Welliver and I, in an HSR event here with our Porsche 964 Cup cars, and it was about to be my 70th birthday,” said Cayman Interseries competitor Fran Cosentino. “My wife said ‘how do you like that pretty red car over there?’ We went over and looked at it, Ron let us take it out for a run, I came back with a big grin on my face, and my wife said ‘do you like that car?’ I said ‘I love that car,’ and she said ‘you got it for your birthday!’ She went over to Ron Barnaba and bought it. I owe it all to my wife!”

Cosentino ended up with the first production Interseries car, a white Cayman S themed after another Porsche he knows very well. The livery is an exact duplicate of the TAG-Heuer Porsche Carrera Cup car that Mika Hakkinen drove in the 1990s, a car that Consentio also happens to own and race in vintage and historic events.

Welliver, a Watkins Glen regular and native of nearby Hector, N.Y., drives the popular No. 20 Cayman S themed after the blue and orange Gulf/Wyer Porsche 917K made famous by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans.

“Jack and Ron were here two years ago and I said ‘well, Fran let’s look at those cars,’” Welliver said. “He kind of put the pressure on me to buy one, I thought it was a pretty big leap, but I just said ‘what the heck.’ I love the cars, the people in the series are great, and I wish I could run more races in the series. It’s a question of time and work, but we are going to try and do what we can do. It’s a great group of guys and a great idea Ron had putting this series together. You can race in this thing at any level and be happy, and you always have somebody to race with. It’s a great series.”