in Opening Day of Rennsport Reunion IV
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.
Additional details of Rennsport Reunion IV can be found on Porsche’s press web site (www.press.porsche.com) and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s web site (www.mazdaraceway.com). Ticket information is available by contacting 800-327-7322 or online at www.mazdaraceway.com.
About Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV: Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV will be the world’s greatest gathering of Porsche race cars and the drivers that drove them to victory, held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from October 14 to 16, 2011. Hosted by Porsche Cars North America, it will assemble the wide variety of Porsche’s most historic racing models from the nimble 550 Spyder of the mid-1950s through the mighty 917 and 956/962 of the 1970s and 1980s to the highly successful RS Spyder of the last decade.
About Porsche Cars North America: Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, the Cayenne SUV and Panamera Gran Turismo. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 220 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 196 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand’s 63-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety and efficiency. At the core of this success is Porsche’s proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.
About The Cayman Interseries: Established in 2009 by Napleton Porsche of Westmont, Illinois, the Cayman Interseries is North America’s only auto racing championship featuring the exclusive use of the 320-horsepower Porsche Cayman S. Sanctioned by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR), the Cayman Interseries conducted its first official season in 2010 and crowned a pair of champion drivers in both the sprint and endurance racing formats. Races are run on legendary circuits such as Daytona, Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Road Atlanta, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and other premier venues, primarily on HSR and SVRA event weekends. 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 CaymanInterseries.org.
Phone calls direct to Napleton Porsche may be made at (630) 725-0911 and email inquiries can be sent to email@example.com.