THE CAYMAN INTERSERIES - News and Notes, May 4, 2010
Jenkins and Heinemeier-Hansson First-Time Winners at Successful Mitty Event; Road America Next
WESTMONT, Ill. (May 4, 2010) - The biggest and best weekend of competition to date for the Cayman Interseries went down at this past weekend's 34th Annual Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Mazda at Road Atlanta where first-time series winners Steve Jenkins and David Heinemeier-Hansson each made it to the top step of the victory lane podium. Jenkins, who was making both his Cayman Interseries and Road Atlanta debuts, swept the weekend's pair of sprint races while Heinemeier-Hansson won Sunday morning's one-hour enduro.
"We knew the Mitty was going to be a great event for the Cayman Interseries and we weren't at all disappointed," said series founder and Napleton Porsche of Westmont General Manager Ron Barnaba. "Everyone at HSR went out of their way to make us feel welcome and a true part of this legendary race, and we can't wait to come back. I am also proud of our great Cayman Interseries drivers and teams who stepped into the spotlight at the Mitty and delivered some fun and exciting racing."
The Cayman Interseries is sanctioned by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010, and welcomed the Cayman showcase to its premier event.
"The Cayman Interseries is a rolling documentary of Porsche racing history," said Ken Fengler, HSR Vice President of Race Operations. "There are very few chances to see the actual Porsche 917s, 935s and 962s that these cars represent and for HSR it is nice to be able to put Porsche's history out there in such a colorful display. It is really a rolling billboard and the Cayman Interseries is a great addition to the Mitty and HSR."
Jenkins, who drives the No. 36 Cayman showcasing the red and white striped livery of the winning Salzburg Porsche 917s, doubled up on wins on a weekend that saw him make double debuts in both the Cayman Interseries and at Road Atlanta. His pole-winning qualifying lap of 1:34.459 was also the fastest overall lap of the weekend and the only run on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta track below the 1:35 range. Jenkins also ranked an impressive third overall of the 50 cars that posted times in the combined Group 5/5C division qualifying session, which includes a variety of GT and other production-based sports cars.
"I initially was only planning on doing a couple of races but I had a lot of fun," said Jenkins, who led every lap in each of his sprint-race victories. "This is a great series and a lot less stressful than some of the stuff I do normally. All of the guys that are driving these Caymans are all good guys and I had a really good time with them. Plus the cars are just so much fun to drive. I am definitely doing Road America. That's kind of my home track and I have got a lot of laps there and I am really looking forward to going there."
Jenkins was also in contention for the enduro victory but drove off course while chasing down Hansson for the lead.
"I must have lost concentration or something up there," said Jenkins, whose sponsors include B.R.M. Watches. "I put one wheel off right at the pit lane entry and, as opposed to trying to save it and risking a certain crash, I just went straight and tried to save the car and ended up stuck in the gravel trap."
Hansson, who drives a No. 1 Rothmans Porsche-themed Cayman S, was the only driver to hit the top-three podium in each of the weekend's trio of races. In addition to his enduro victory, he finished second to Jenkins in both sprints.
"I love this track and it was a lot of fun," said Hansson, who was also making his Road Atlanta debut. "The group on Sunday was some really high-end competition, and I think one of the fastest groups I have definitely participated in. It was just a blast, the track is fun, the weather held up and we didn't even need our rain tires. It was a great weekend."
DAVIS DOUBLE PODIUMS
Atlanta-based drive Lee Davis, who qualified second in his No. 333 Cayman that wears the colors of the Advan Porsche 962s and Luna C Clothing, was also making his Cayman Interseries debut. He finished third in both sprint races and left Road Atlanta impressed.
"It's probably a rerun because you hear it from all of the guys, but I guess we are all excited because we love Porsches and we are really excited about these Caymans," Davis said. "The cars are just so much fun to drive and the whole concept is good. Weekends like this where everybody has a good time and all of the guys are good are really going to help the series along. It was an absolute blast."
JONNY JOINS THE LEADERS
Young driver Jonny Ryan stepped up to challenge the leading contenders more than once at Road Atlanta in his No. 41 Miller High Life/Holbert Racing-inspired Cayman S. He ran third in the Saturday sprint and was part of perhaps the best battle of the weekend with Davis in the late stages of that race. The duo swapped third place three times in the final two laps before Davis took the spot for good less than half a lap from the finish. Ryan followed closely for a strong fourth-place finish.
ROAD AMERICA NEXT UP
The Cayman Interseries returns to action at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for its next race, May 14 - 16. Jim Bacus is one of several Chicago-area drivers looking forward to racing on what they consider their home track.
"The Cayman is great at Road America," said Bacus, who drives the popular purple and green No. 3 Cayman modeled after the famous "Hippy" Porsche 917LH that finished second at Le Mans. "It just hunkers down and gets through the carrousel there and I think some of us may get flat-out through the kink there. The Cayman just gets through the corners and it's just a lot of fun."
MORE PODIUM PLAYERS
Other drivers to hit the podium at Road Atlanta included Jim McCormick, who drives the No. 44 Porsche Cayman S that wears the colors of the Martini "Baby" Porsche 935, and Collin O'Brien, who races in a No. 4 Cayman that carries the famous paint scheme of the Wyer/Gulf Porsche 917s. McCormick and O'Brien finished second and third, respectively, in Sunday morning's enduro.
FAST LANE IN QUALIFYING
Yet another debuting Cayman Interseries driver at Road Atlanta was Ed Lane III who built on solid Friday practice sessions with the fifth fastest qualifying lap of 1:37.482 in his No. 15 Cayman that pays tribute to a yellow David Piper Sandeman Porsche 917. Lane ran in front-of-the-pack contention in both the opening sprint and Sunday's enduro but debris from another incident stuck in the radiator of his Cayman in the Saturday race. He also ran well in the one-hour race before dropping to an eighth-place finish after an early contact incident.
BALDWIN BATTING 1000
Cayman Interseries chief driving coach and competition director Jack Baldwin also found the time to continue his great run of success driving at the Mitty on Sunday. Baldwin won the Vic Elford Trophy in the Historic GTP/WSC/DP feature race driving George Robinson's 2001 No. 74 Riley & Scott MK111C. Baldwin then joined Robinson in capturing the overall win in the division's enduro race which is regarded by many as the original Walter Mitty race. The winning duo edged a 2005 Audi R8 that was driven by Andy Wallace and Bill Adam.
"I think George and I are batting 1000," Baldwin said. "Over the years we have won a lot of Mittys together and it is always fun. There is a big crowd here and racing at Road Atlanta, especially in car like that which goes so fast around this place, is for me an honor. I am just pleased to be able to crawl into that cockpit, strap those belts on and run close to 200 miles per hour around here."
A light mist made for some challenging conditions in the Elford Trophy race, especially in the big-bore Judd-powered Riley.
"It started out slick and then got slicker," Baldwin said. "This was the most difficult racing conditions for these cars. It was what we call 'glassy.' I'd prefer racing in full-on rain because these cars are so good in the rain. You had to be very careful out there because you couldn't find any grip. But we brought it home in one piece."
Baldwin also had high praise for the Cayman Interseries competitors in their Mitty debut.
"We had a really good weekend and I think the guys are really ramping it up and getting into it," Baldwin. "We are having a lot fun with this and everybody gets out of these cars and says 'that was a blast.' They are realizing that this series is all about having fun, low stress and cool cars and it's working out really good."
-source: Cayman Interseries