This Weekend at Daytona International Speedway - Tight Points Battles to be Decided in First Official Series Appearance at DIS
The 2011 Cayman Interseries race schedule will come to a close at this weekend’s HSR Daytona Historic Races at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), September 11 – 13, where two series championships will be on the line in a full schedule of three races on the legendary 3.56-mile DIS road course.
This weekend marks the end of the second full-season of Cayman Interseries championship competition but the first official points race at Daytona for the racing series that is both a modern-day showcase of Porsche excellence and a rolling tribute to the legendary marque’s rich racing heritage. The Cayman Interseries raced at Daytona during its first partial season of unofficial competition in 2009 but this weekend is the true, all-out racing debut for the Caymans on the challenging DIS road course.
The weekend’s schedule features a pair of sprint races, one each on Saturday and Sunday, as well as a one-hour enduro on Sunday afternoon. Season champions will be crowned in both the sprint and endurance categories at the end of the weekend, with the enduro title battle in particular the closest to date in the brief history of the Cayman Interseries.
Mark Sandridge, who drives a white and red-and-yellow striped No. 49 Cayman S that is modeled after his 1994 IMSA Champion Team Salad Porsche 911 RSR, and Lee Davis, who pilots his black and red No. 33 Cayman S that carries the colors of the Advan Porsche 956s and 962s and Luna-C Clothing, have each won multiple races this year, but a third driver has a narrow edge in the endurance points race.
Florida-based driver Bill Riddell, who drives his green and white striped No. 80 Cayman S that pays tribute to a David Piper Racing Porsche 917K, has 143 points to top the enduro standings, just one ahead of Sandridge and Davis, who are tied for second at 142 points apiece. Riddell has driven solo in the majority of this year’s endurance events while Sandridge share the No. 49 with coach, co-driver and Orlando-resident Joe Varde, and Davis, the reigning Cayman Interseries Enduro Champion, teams with his coach and co-driver Ryan Eversley.
Another driver combination factoring into the enduro points race is Jim Thomason and Tim Lewis Jr. The teammates co-drove Thomason’s colorful pink and white No. 9 Cayman S, which is themed after the 1989 Blaupunkt/Joest Racing Porsche 962C, to their first enduro win last month at Sebring. They rank third in the championship with 131 points and could make a charge on the title if the leaders falter.
Other top competitors heading to Daytona include impressive first-year driver Bob Schneider and his No. 40 Cayman S that runs in the colors of the legendary Martini “Baby” Porsche 935. Schneider hit the podium in his first ever race weekend at Mid-Ohio this past June and also scored a top-five finish in his most recent race at Rennsport Reunion last month.
Wayne Nykyforchyn, who drives a white and red No. 11 Cayman S in the colors of a Marlboro/Joest Racing Porsche 956, is another first-year driver that has put in some strong runs this year. He will make his Cayman Interseries Daytona debut as will his teammate Chuck Smithee, who wheels his white No. 25 Mobil 1 Porsche GT-1 liveried Cayman S. Both the No. 11 and No. 25 are prepared by Connecticut’s SpeedSport Tuning shop run by Spencer Cox.
Porsche Napleton Racing (PNR) prepares the No. 49, No. 33 and No. 40 as well as sharp silver and black No. 1 Cayman S for Ed Napleton, President of the Napleton Auto Group, the parent organization of Cayman Interseries organizers and owners Napleton Porsche of Westmont in Chicago. Napleton made his racing debut at last month’s Rennsport Reunion and will build on that encouraging performance with his first run at Daytona.
The weekend begins with a full-day of testing on Thursday before official practice and qualifying on Friday. Racing gets underway with the first sprint at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday with the one-hour enduro running later that afternoon at 1 p.m. Sunday’s schedule includes the second and final sprint of the weekend at 8:30 a.m.