Thursday, April 26, 2012
Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship Back in Action this Weekend in the Mitty at Road Atlanta
by Adam Saal
ATLANTA -- The Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship returns to action this weekend at the 36th Annual Classic Motorsports Mitty at Road Atlanta where a strong field of returning and first-time competitors will be on track for all three days of the prestigious event, April 27 – 29. The Mitty is Round 2 of the 2012 Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship schedule.
Morning and afternoon practice sessions will be run on Friday, April 27, while Saturday includes qualifying in the morning and the first of the weekend’s two sprint races that afternoon at 2:35 p.m. Sunday starts with the final sprint at 9:15 a.m. before the featured Louis Chevrolet Historic Enduro one-hour race at 12:15 p.m.
Atlanta resident and two-time reigning Pirelli Cayman Interseries Champion Lee Davis will once again be among the drivers to beat on his home track of Road Atlanta. He drives his black and red No. 33 Cayman S that carries the colors of a Brun Motorsport Porsche 956 and Luna-C Clothing.
Davis, along with his regular coach and co-driver Ryan Eversley, won the Enduro in the season-opening race weekend at Palm Beach International Raceway in February along with another driver who ranks as another potential winner this weekend. Mark Sandridge was battling with Davis early in the Palm Beach enduro only to have his car retire in the race’s opening minutes with a mechanical issue. Davis and Eversley didn’t hesitate to ask Sandridge to join them in the No. 33, however, and the trio co-drove to the victory.
Sandridge will be back at the wheel of his white and red-and-yellow striped No. 49 Cayman S, which is themed after his 1994 IMSA Champion Team Salad Porsche 911 RSR, at Road Atlanta. He debuted the No. 49 at last year’s Mitty and put the car on the pole in its very first race weekend. Sandridge, who races with longtime coach and co-driver Joe Varde, also won the Saturday sprint at this year’s Palm Beach opener.
Another Cayman Interseries race winner who could make it to the top step of the podium again this weekend is Bob Schneider, who drives a white Martini & Rossi adorned Cayman S modeled after the famous “Baby” Porsche 935. Schneider won his first Cayman race in last year’s Daytona finale and rejoins the series at this weekend for the first time since that season-ending race.
Wayne Nykyforchyn is also making his 2012 Pirelli Cayman Interseries debut in his No. 11 white and red Cayman S that runs the livery of a Marlboro/Joest Racing Porsche 956. Nykyforchyn finished third in the sportsman division in the Saturday enduro at the Daytona finale and scored multiple podium finishes in his last start in the Cayman Interseries.
Also returning at The Mitty after making his mark at the 2011 finale is Chuck Smithee, who finished first in the Sportsman class and fourth overall in the Daytona enduro. Smithee drives his white No. 25 Mobil 1 Porsche GT-1 themed Cayman S.
Ed Napleton is set for his Mitty debut in his distinctive No. 1 Cayman S that features a special carbon-fiber gray “prototype” livery. Napleton scored a second-place sprint race finish in the Sportsman class at 2011’s season-ending race weekend at Daytona and backed it up with a third-place overall finish in the Palm Beach enduro co-driving with Jack Baldwin.
A strong entry from CARS (Classic Auto Restoration Services), a top automotive and race shop located in Omaha, Nebraska, is also competing in the Pirelli Cayman Interseries for the first time since last October’s Rennsport Reunion. The team includes the husband-and-wife due of Randy Cassling and Lori Cassling as well as Randy’s brother Mike Cassling.
Lori Cassling made series history last year at the Sebring opener with a career-best second-place showing in Sunday’s sprint race. She remains the only woman to score a top-three race finish in Cayman Interseries competition and is always a crowd favorite in her popular No. 23 Cayman modeled after the famous “Pink Pig” Porsche 917/20.
Another CARS competitor capable of making it to victory lane at The Mitty is Henry Davis, who drives a silver No. 21 Cayman S that pays tributes to the memorable Martini & Rossi Porsche 917s.
Among the debuting drivers at The Mitty is 18-year-old Off-Road Racing Champion Rafael Navarro IV, who also brings extensive sports car road racing experience despite his relatively young age. Navarro, known in racing circles as “Cuatro” or “R4,” won the 2011 SCORE Lites dune buggy championship in addition to leading his team to a class victory in the legendary Baja 500. He also scored an apparent Touring Class victory in the Pirelli World Challenge race last year at Long Beach only to have a minor technical issue on his car force a disqualification after a great drive. Cuatro, who also competed in the Jetta TDI Cup, will drive the yellow No. 55 Cayman S that carries the livery of a David Piper Racing Sandeman Porsche 917K. Keith Carroll drove the same car to a sweep of all three races at last year’s Mitty.
Tom Bloom is also set for his first Pirelli Cayman Interseries race start in more than a year in his white and red No. 16 Cayman S themed after a Dyson Racing Porsche 962.
About The Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship: Established in 2009 by Napleton Porsche of Westmont, Illinois, the Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship is North America’s only auto racing series featuring the exclusive use of the 320-horsepower Porsche Cayman S. Sanctioned by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR), the Pirelli Cayman Interseries conducted its first official seasons in 2010 and 2011 and crowned a pair of champion drivers in both the sprint and endurance racing formats each year. Races are run on legendary circuits such as Daytona, Sebring, Road Atlanta, Road America and other premier venues. Every competing Porsche Cayman S is exclusively supplied and prepared by Napleton Porsche and each car competes with an assigned and specific heritage livery themed after a famous Porsche race car from the past. Learn more about the Cayman Interseries at www.CaymanInterseries.org. Phone calls direct to Napleton Porsche may be made at (630) 725-0911 and email inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Pirelli Tire North America: Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets. For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.