Cayman Interseries - Rennsport Preview
MONTEREY, October 15, 2011: The Cayman Interseries charged through a full schedule of on-track action and off-track promotions Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where the Porsche tribute series is making its inaugural Rennsport Reunion appearance this weekend.
While championship-winning pro driver and Porsche stalwart David Donohue – driving the No. 6 Cayman S themed after the mighty Sunoco/Penske Porsche 917-30 driven by his father Mark Donohue – topped both of Friday’s practice sessions, the day’s official fastest lap went to Cayman Interseries regular Mark Sandridge. Driving his white and red-and-yellow striped No. 49 Cayman S, which is modeled after his 1994 IMSA Champion Team Salad Porsche 911 RSR, Sandridge clocked in at 1:39.915 in the second and final session of the day Friday afternoon.
“The field is very close, so if I happened to nick off a good lap it can’t be much quicker than one of the other guys, who are real close to me anyways,” Sandridge said. “It’s just fun being here, I am glad the car feels good, and we are getting a little better effort here than the last race in Atlanta. I got it dialed in, my teammate Joe Varde helped me get it dialed in, and it just feels good.”
Sandridge was also feeling on Friday the high-energy atmosphere of a Rennsport Reunion event.
“I think the spirit of Porsche lives here today,” Sandridge said. “It’s pretty incredible, the amount of cars. Everybody is just jazzed up, all keyed up because you get caught up in the aura of Porsche.”
Second quickest Friday was debuting driver Jack Kachadurian who is piloting a red and white No. 14 Cayman S that pays tribute to a Richard Lloyd Racing Canon Porsche 956.
“The Napleton group, they brought a great car,” said Kachadurian, who turned a top lap of 1:39.915 in the afternoon session. “It is my first time here, my first time in a Cayman, but I have learned some things over the years in racing, and how to adapt to new tracks, and I think that is one of my strengths. I have always been able to come out of the box and go fast, however, there comes a point where you have to take two steps back to take a step forward. Hopefully tomorrow in qualifying we can have a good run and give these guys a run for their money.”
The Cayman Interseries kicked into high gear before even taking to the track Friday morning with a VIP unveiling of a special “Rennsport Edition” Cayman S that series founders Porsche Napleton of Westmont built specifically to commemorate this weekend’s event. The car was formally unveiled in the Cayman Interseries paddock area by Detlev von Platen, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Gill Campbell, CEO and General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Ed Napleton, President of the Napleton Auto Group, Ron Barnaba, Napleton Porsche of Westmont General Manager, Porsche racing legend Hurley Haywood and Donohue, a Rolex 24 at Daytona-winning Porsche driver.
The one-off “Rennsport Edition” design pays tribute to Porsche’s famous race cars and drivers and the equally iconic circuits on which they raced and won. The entire top of the Rennsport Edition Cayman S features “ghost” images of legendary race tracks from around the world, the stripe on the hood has a list of Porsche factory drivers and other notables from over the years while the roof stripe has a list of all of the factory race cars ever produced.
The commemorative No. 4 Cayman will be driven this weekend by Jack Baldwin, who joined Donohue and their fellow pro Ryan Eversley in setting the day’s top-three unofficial fastest laps on Friday. Eversley was driving the Lee Davis-owned black and red No. 33 Cayman S that carries the colors of the Advan Porsche 956s and 962s and Luna-C Clothing,
Throughout the weekend, the legendary Porsche drivers in attendance are autographing the “Rennsport Edition” Cayman S, adding even more history to this rolling showcase of Porsche’s competition legacy. The positive impact of the colorful car will be felt even after Rennsport Reunion IV ends as Napleton Porsche will sell the car to highest bidder in the coming weeks, with a significant portion of the proceeds being donated to the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF).
The Cayman Interseries is racing in support of the CTF this weekend and will host several young neurofibromatosis (NF) patients and their families at the track on Saturday, in cooperation with Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
- Sandridge noticed major improvements to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in his first appearance at the Monterey track in 20 years. “It’s a different track totally,” said Sandridge, who is making his first race start at Laguna Seca since 1991. “The last time I was here there were barriers everywhere, and I flattened the driver’s side of my car after first practice. There was just no room for mistakes, but today the track is much safer.”
- Another top driver Friday was Henry Davis who is making his first start of the year in his CARS-prepared No. 21 Cayman S that displays the markings of a silver Martini Porsche 917. His best lap time of 1:40.122 in the afternoon session was just behind Sandridge and Kachadurian and one spot ahead of Davis, who lapped at 1:40.363 in the No. 33 in the second session.