Cayman Interseries - New Stars Come To The Fore
MONTICELLO, Aug. 1, 2012: New Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship competitors stepped into the spotlight – and Victory Lane – this past weekend at Monticello Motor Club at the inaugural HSR Monticello Historic Races, July 27 – 29.
Rob Sechan came home a winner in the very first race of his career in Saturday’s opening sprint and backed it up with a second victory on Sunday to sweep the weekend’s pair of sprint races. Sechan competes in his white and black-striped No. 86 Cayman S in the livery of the Texaco Havoline Star Bayside Motorsports Porsche 962, a top IMSA GTP contender fielded by Bruce Leven. Although Sechan has participated in six club races and numerous lapping days at Monticello, this past weekend marked his first true race in a points-paying championship.“I felt like I would do well, I didn’t think that I would win the races, but the reason I thought I would do well is that it was at my home track,” said Sechan, who runs his Cayman S out of the SpeedSport Tuning prep shop that is owned and operated by Spencer Cox. “I drive Monticello an awful lot, probably three times a month, so I have a good feel for the track and I think that contributed to my advantage a lot.”
Bob Smith, co-driving with Cox, was also a first-time winner in his No. 17 Cayman S that carries the familiar white and black-and-red striped factory Porsche colors. Smith and Cox won Sunday’s featured enduro race, which also marked the first Pirelli Cayman victory for Cox who is an experienced Porsche racer in addition to running SpeedSport Tuning.
Runner-up honors in the enduro went to Kim Estep who was another debuting driver in her all-white No. 7 Cayman S that will soon be adorned with a familiar historic livery. Estep co-drove with Peter Argetsinger, a member of the well-known Argetsinger family that has been linked to Watkins Glen for decades, who helped her clinch the Monticello weekend’s JRZ Suspension Engineering Fine Tuning Award. The JRZ honor is presented to the driver at each Pirelli Cayman event weekend that shows the most on-track progress and improved lap times working through set-up and suspension changes.
Doug Hirsch, yet another debuting driver, finished second in both sprints in a white and rainbow-hued No. 71 Cayman S modeled after the 1980 Apple Computer/Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 935 K3 driven at Le Mans by Bobby Rahal, Bob Garretson and Allan Moffat.
Hirsch and Sechan also teamed up for the enduro in the No. 71 and each driver picked up another podium showing with a hard-fought run to third place.
“This Cayman Interseries is just phenomenal,” Sechan said. “The group that they have put together is just fantastic, HSR does a great job, and when I was thinking about what series to join about a year ago when I bought the car I could tell right away what type of quality group this is, and it’s just fantastic.”
Brazil’s Eduardo de Souza Ramos was also among the notables making his first Pirelli Cayman Interseries start. Ramos took delivery of his new Porsche Napleton Racing (PNR) Cayman S at Monticello but instead raced the PNR red and white No. 14 Cayman S that pays tribute to a Richard Lloyd Racing Canon Porsche 956. Ramos finished third in Saturday’s opening sprint, earning a podium finish in his very first Pirelli Cayman Interseries race. His regular ride in the future will be a white and orange No. 5 Cayman S modeled after a long-tail 1969 Porsche 908 that raced in Europe.
“This is the biggest influx of new Pirelli Cayman Interseries competitors that we have seen in a long time and it was good to get back to racing after a break of more than two months since our Road America race,” said Napleton Porsche of Westmont General Manager Ron Barnaba. “We had great racing the last time we ran at Road America and picked right up where we left off in our first appearance at the fantastic Monticello Motor Club in the inaugural HSR race here. Tom Gravalos from Pirelli made the trip from New York City to spend some time with us on Saturday and Ari Straus and the entire team at Monticello did a great job in making us feel welcome.”
Next up for the Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship is the Atlanta Historic Races weekend at Road Atlanta, September 13 – 16.