Schneider Takes First Win in Morning Sprint; Riddell Solos to Enduro Victory
A competitive final day of competition at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) brought a successful 2011 Cayman Interseries season to a close as Bob Schneider scored the first race victory of his career and Bill Riddell soloed to his first overall endurance race win of the season Sunday as the HSR Daytona Historics weekend wrapped up.
After joining coach and co-driver Chris Hall for a third-place showing in Saturday’s endurance race, Schneider stepped up on his own in the Sunday morning seven-lap sprint race and promptly won the first race of his competitive career that began just this past June. Schneider also turned the fastest race lap of the sprint at 2:03.828 (103.789 mph) in his white No. 40 Cayman S that runs in the colors of the legendary Martini “Baby” Porsche 935.
“First of all, I had a ball here this weekend,” Schneider said. “I got to run with all my friends, the car was great, I learned a ton about setup, and we were actually able to put together some competitive races and improve our positions from third. I think we knew we had the ability to move up, but we had to put together the right setup, better driving on my part, and the help of Chris and everybody else. It finally all came together and we did good. We’re really pleased.”
Schneider led Riddell across the finish line by 5.753 seconds, but the runner-up driver would be heard from later in the day. Sunday’s finale was a two-hour afternoon endurance race and Riddell avoided the on-track issues that knocked more than one of his competitors from contention for his first overall enduro win of the season in his green and white striped No. 80 Cayman S that pays tribute to a David Piper Racing Porsche 917K.
“I got lucky,” Riddell said. “I hit the yellows just right and they called me in, so I really appreciate it. I had a great race with the other guys, we were just dogging it, nose-to-tail the whole way, so it’s a lot of fun. I’d like to thank my crew. They did a great job getting the car setup and all of the guys worked hard. We had transmission issues yesterday and they worked last night until we got kicked out and then came in early this morning, so I really want to thank them.”
Riddell edged the second-place duo of Mark Sandridge and Joe Varde who posted the third runner-up placing of the weekend for Sandridge’s white and red-and-yellow striped No. 49 Cayman S that is modeled after their 1994 IMSA Champion Team Salad Porsche 911 RSR. Team Salad scored several race wins and nearly a dozen podium finishes this year, the first for the duo of Sandridge and Varde as teammates in several years.
“It was a great time,” Sandridge said. “It was great entertainment and all of the things I expected. We had a lot of good guys, I met a lot of great people, and that’s really what racing is about. We did OK on the track and we will be back, this is too much fun for a series. It has been a fun season racing with HSR and we really appreciate everything they do for us.”
Chuck Smithee, in his white No. 25 Mobil 1 Porsche GT-1 themed Cayman S, finished third in both Sunday races to cap his best weekend of Cayman Interseries competition in his Daytona debut. Smithee also finished third in Saturday’s sprint race in the sportsman division in addition to taking first-place sportsman honors in yesterday’s enduro with a solid fourth-overall finish.
“I am a year into this and to spend that much time on the podium during the weekend is a dream come true,” Smithee said. “It has really been a fantastic weekend. I love this track and in these three or four days on it I felt like I got to know it reasonably well. I am just really having a blast, the car is a lot fun on the track, and I really can’t complain. I want to say thanks to all of the guys at Speedsport Tuning for all of the great work on the car, it was beautiful.”
- The Cayman Interseries and Porsche Napleton Racing (PNR) raced this weekend in tribute to teammate and close colleague David Lee who passed away while returning from last month’s Rennsport Reunion event at Laguna Seca. Every competing Cayman and the PNR transporter, which Lee drove, displayed a memorial emblem in tribute to Lee who was a key member of the team in both the Cayman Interseries and PNR’s IMSA GT3 Cup and ALMS GTC programs.
“David was a great guy, his heart was in it, he really loved to be here, and we loved to have him here,” said Steve Jenkins, PNR Director of Competition Operations. “As a competitor, when I raced with the series, he was always so nice to me and always went out of his way, no matter who I was racing with, to come find me and talk to me. Then, as his boss for just a very short period of time, unfortunately, I put all of my faith in him to look over everything at Rennsport when I couldn’t attend that event. He just did a spectacular job and it’s such a shame that I never really got to thank him for that. I am sure he can hear us now, and we were racing for him this weekend as a thank you.”
Lee Davis, who clinched both the 2011 Cayman Interseries sprint and enduro championships with PNR on Saturday at Daytona, took some time to reflect on his fallen teammate.
“Everything that happened this weekend was dedicated to David Lee,” Davis said. “There’s a lot more serious stuff out there in the world going on than just racing. We are just lucky and blessed to be able to do this, we work hard at it, and this weekend we did it for David.”
- Wayne Nykyforchyn, who drives a white and red No. 11 Cayman S in the colors of a Marlboro/Joest Racing Porsche 956, was awarded the JRZ Suspension Engineering “Fine Tuning Award” at Daytona as the driver who showed the most progress during the weekend through improved car setup, on-track performance and lap times. Nykyforchyn scored a third-place sportsman division finish in Saturday’s enduro and a fourth-place overall finish in Sunday’s sprint.
While Nykyforchyn won Daytona honors, Schneider wrapped up the season-long JRZ award as the driver that showed the most setup-based improvements in the final part of the racing year. Schneider was also the first recipient of the JRZ award at the Road Atlanta event in September.
“That part is really cool because that was my weak link, quite frankly,” said Schneider, who was awarded a complimentary annual JRZ rebuild package as part of his prize. “I just didn’t know that much about setup coming to run in the Cayman Interseries, and the fact that the series brings somebody from JRZ to the track at every race who not only helps you with setup but teaches you about setup is just invaluable. I will leave this short season knowing so much more about setup from where I began, and I think that will give us a really good platform to build on next year and hopefully continue to be competitive.”
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.