Cayman Interseries - Sandridge's Sunday Sweep Closes Out Action At Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, June 26, 2011: A Sunday sweep of both races by Mark Sandridge – including a second-consecutive enduro race win with teammate Joe Varde – closed out the final day of Cayman Interseries action at this weekend’s SVRA Mid-Ohio Vintage Grand Prix.
Sandridge also won his third straight pole earlier in the weekend in his No. 49 white and red-and-yellow striped No. 49 Cayman S, which is themed after his 1994 IMSA Champion Team Salad Porsche 911 RSR.
“What a fun day and a great weekend,” Sandridge said. “The pressure from Lee Davis was incredible. Every time I would turn a great lap he was right there with me, we had a great time racing each other today and it is just fun to end up in first place here.”
Sandridge and Davis, along with their respective teammates and pro coaches Varde and Ryan Eversley, were the main players in one of the closest enduro races in the history of the Cayman Intereseries.
“At the start of the enduro it was pretty neat,” Sandridge said. “Lee Davis got ahead of me, I followed him for a lap or two, then we went up through the Keyhole Turn together and he got sideways just a little bit. So coming out of the Keyhole, we were toe-to-toe, tail-to-tail, and I just got him there on the straight. From there on I just put my nose down and boogied. I had a great time.”
Sandridge later turned the No. 49 over to Varde just after Davis handed off his black and red No. 33 Cayman S, which pays tribute to the Advan Porsche 956s and 962s, to Eversley.
“Ryan got in some traffic from some of the fast cars that go down the straight pretty quick but then kind of brake check you in the brake zone,” Varde said. “I kind of took advantage of that and that’s how I go by him on the last lap at the end of the straightaway.”
Varde led only the race’s final lap but it was amazing, as it turns out, that Eversley was able to hold him off as long as he did.
“I had contact with a slower Sports 2000 car that hurt our right front and we later found out that the rear sway bar had a broken mount and was just kind dangling there too,” Eversley said. “The car was a real handful and now we know why. It felt good holding him off like I did but now we know why the car was so diabolical.”
Davis finished second in both Sunday races but scored a victory of his own in Saturday’s opening sprint race of the weekend. That race also came down to a duel with Sandridge.
“I was able to get by Mark at the start and managed to stay in front of him the entire race,” Davis said about his Saturday victory. “It wasn’t easy, but it was really fun, and it is an absolute blast racing with Mark and Joe these days. It seems like every time we have a race the two of us are right there battling it out.”
While Davis, the reigning Cayman Interseries Champion, and Sandridge have become the standout series regulars this year, a new threat may have emerged this weekend at Mid-Ohio. Racing newcomer Bob Schneider drove the first three races of his career at Mid-Ohio, including co-driving with Jack Baldwin in the enduro, and finished on the podium in all three races.
“This was just all about learning the track and learning to race and I had a ball,” Schneider said. “Everybody was great, Jack Baldwin is a great teacher, and it was a wonderful experience. It was a lot more than what I expected. This was my first race. I actually started driving on tracks just six months ago.”
Schneider gave the Porsche Cayman S used in the Cayman Interseries high marks. The No. 26 Cayman S he drove this weekend carries the livery of the 1998 Le Mans-winning Porsche GT-1.
“To be able to get in this car for the first time, never having driven a Cayman before, only having come to this track a couple of times, and to be able to get it around at a pace that was competitive has everything to do with the car and very little to do with me,” Schneider said. “
Among the highlights of Schneider’s weekend was a great battle with Bill Riddell for third in Sunday’s sprint. Schneider slipped by Riddell’s green and white striped Cayman S, which pays tribute to a David Piper Racing Porsche 917K, for the final podium spot just two laps from the finish.
Riddell finished fourth in both Sunday races, including a solo run in the enduro, and joined Schneider as the recipients of the weekend’s Hoosier Tire Performance Awards. Schneider was awarded a pair of Hoosier R6 tires for hitting the podium in his debut race on Saturday while Riddell was presented with his pair of tires in recognition for the strong showing in the enduro.
Randy Cassling in his yellow, black and red No. 18 Cayman S in the colors of the Le Mans winning factory Shell Porsche 962s, completed the top-five in both Sunday races. Cassling was competing this weekend alongside his wife Lori Cassling, the couple’s first race together since the Sebring opener, although Randy Cassling did compete on his own at The Mitty at Road Atlanta in April. Lori Cassling drives the popular No. 23 “Pink Pig” Cayman S that carries the distinctive pink livery of the unique, one-off Porsche 917/20 that raced in the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Another top-five showing during the weekend was turned in by Jim Thomason who drove his pink and white No. 9 Cayman S, themed after the Blaupunkt/Joest Racing Porsche 962C that was driven to at third-place finish in the 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans by Hans Stuck and Bob Wollek, to a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s sprint. Riddell finished fifth in that race.