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Feb 09, 2013 - 07:06 PM
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Biggest Championship Race Event In Pirelli Cayman Interseries History Ushers
Posted by: newsla on Feb 09, 2013 - 07:04 PM
Sports Cars
Biggest Championship Race Event In Pirelli Cayman Interseries History Ushers In PCA Era At Last Weekend’S Sebring 48 Hours


The biggest championship points event weekend in the four-year history of the Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship ushered in a new era of racing with the Porsche Club of America (PCA) at this past weekend’s 48 Hours at Sebring, February 1 – 3.

 

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Nearly two dozen Caymans started at least one Pirelli Interseries race over the busy weekend of competition on the legendary Sebring International Raceway airport road course. The strong entry is second only to the record turnout for the non-points Rennsport Reunion IV two years ago at Laguna Seca Raceway as the biggest race field in Pirelli Cayman Interseries history.

The weekend’s most successful driver was Chuck Smithee who hit the podium in each of the three races, including a pair of victories. Smithee first drove his white No. 25 Cayman S, themed after the Le Mans- winning Mobil 1 Porsche GT1, to victory in Saturday’s second sprint race before taking an impressive overall class victory in Sunday’s featured Enduro. Smithee topped not only the Pirelli Cayman Interseries field but also every other Porsche entered in the competitive GTB-1 division. Smithee also finished second in the opening sprint race to complete a nearly-perfect weekend in his SpeedSport Tuning prepared Cayman S.

The weekend’s other race winner was first-time Pirelli Cayman Interseries competitor Anthony Geraci who captured the first sprint. Geraci took the win in a green and white Cayman, carrying No. 881 during the crowded 48 Hours weekend, in the colors of a Skoal Bandit/John Fitzpatrick Racing Porsche 956.

Henry Davis, in his CARS-prepared Cayman S, joined Smithee as the only drivers to make more than one victory lane appearance at the Sebring opener. Driving his silver No. 21 Cayman S that pays tribute to the memorable Martini & Rossi Porsche 917s, Davis finished third in the first sprint before improving to runner-up honors in the second short race.

Third place in the second sprint went to Tom Bloom at the wheel of his ex-Lee Davis No. 16 Cayman S that carries the black and red livery of a Brun Porsche 956. Like Smithee this past weekend, Bloom scored a breakout endurance victory in his first race in the black and red Porsche, the most successful Cayman Interseries car ever with three championships and multiple race wins, at last fall’s Sebring Historics two-hour enduro.

Other Pirelli Cayman Interseries podium players from the 48 Hours weekend included enduro runner-ups Joe Courtney and Simon Kirby. The duo drove Courtney’s Interseries debuting No. 771 Cayman S that ran an interpretation of the paint scheme made famous by the Gulf Porsche 917s.

Courtney was also the 48 Hours at Sebring weekend winner of the JRZ Suspension Engineering Fine-Tuning Award that is presented to the competitor that shows the most improvement in lap times and on-track performance through the use of JRZ prescribed suspension and setup adjustments and changes.

Third-place in the enduro went to the driving team of Kim Estep and Peter Argetsinger in Estep’s No. 117 Cayman S. The white and orange car with black and silver accents runs a livery inspired by the Porsche Intelligent Performance theme that was popularized in part by the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid race car.

Running exclusively in 2013 on PCA race event weekends, the Sebring opener was the first of eight races on this year’s Pirelli Cayman Interseries calendar. Nearly all events will be held at other iconic racing venues, including Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, Virginia International Raceway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America and Daytona International Speedway.

The 2013 season will also see the first appearance of both the PCA and Pirelli Cayman Interseries at the new Circuit of The Americas, the top-flight Formula 1 track in Austin, Texas. The May 10 – 12 event for the Pirelli Cayman Interseries replaces the late-April weekend originally announced at Lime Rock Park.

The Pirelli Cayman Interseries has emerged in recent years as the leading North American road racing showcase of current Cayman S models as well as a rolling tribute to Porsche’s rich racing heritage. Every competing Cayman S runs with a specific and assigned livery that pays tribute to a famous Porsche race car of the past. The series has been in operation since a partial calendar of events in 2009 while each of the last three full seasons of competition has produced champions in both the Professional and Sportsman categories.

This year also marks the second season with Pirelli Tire North America as the title sponsor and exclusive tire supplier for the Pirelli Cayman Interseries. The Pirelli P Zero racing slick is the official and series-standard tire at all Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship events. Pirelli will also work closely with series organizers in expanding both competitor incentive programs and series-related marketing and advertising initiatives this season.

Next up for the Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship is the PCA event weekend at Road Atlanta, March 22 – 24.


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