Al Carter Wins Pirelli Cayman Interseries Debut in Opening Sprint Race at the Daytona Continental Historic Races
Al Carter made his Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship a winning one Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway with a flag-to-flag victory from the pole in the No. 59 Chris Smith Racing Porsche Cayman S in the opening sprint race of the weekend at the HSR Daytona Continental Historic Races.
Starting from the pole after topping the time sheets in Friday qualifying, Carter took control of the race from the drop of the green flag and led all eight laps to the finish. He crossed the finish line a few car lengths ahead of a fast-closing Mark Sandridge who was at the wheel of a white and red-and-yellow striped No. 49 Cayman S themed after his 1994 IMSA Champion Team Salad Porsche 911 RSR.
“I really enjoyed myself, it is great to be here and is any time you get to drive at Daytona,” Carter said. “These guys on the podium with me have been a lot of fun, they were right behind me in my mirrors and they were mixing it up pretty good. It was fun to watch, and I had a good seat.”
Sandridge’s second-place run moved him closer to clinching the 2012 Pirelli Cayman Interseries Pro Championship which he and co-driver Joe Varde can do as soon as this afternoon’s 75-minute enduro race at the Daytona Continental Historics.
“We appreciate everything HSR has done all year long, they run a great organization, it’s fun to come racing here and it is fun to race in the Pirelli Cayman Interseries,” Sandridge said. “Tom Bloom was tough to pass today and he has really, really improved. It was a lot of fun.”
Bloom finished third overall in is red and black No. 16 Cayman S and also captured first-place honors in the in the Sportsman class. The podium result and class victory continued a recent and competitive run of success for Bloom that began with an overall Pirelli Cayman Interseries victory two weeks ago at Sebring International Raceway.
The top-five overall Pirelli Cayman Interseries finishers kept in close touch the entire race and the train included a last lap pass for position with debuting Daytona driver Eduardo de Souza Ramos slipping past reigning Pirelli Cayman Interseries Sportsman Champion Bill Riddell just a few turns before the finish.
Ramos, a native Brazilian, drives a white and red No. 5 Cayman S modeled after a long-tail 1969 Porsche 908 that raced in Europe while Riddell races his familiar green and white-striped No. 80 Cayman S modeled after a David Piper Racing Porsche 917K.
“My home track is in Sao Paulo, Brazil and this is my first time here at Daytona,” Ramos said. “I was very afraid at first to drive on the turns because 38-degree banking seems to be too much for a driver who is 68 years old!”
Ramos finished fourth, and second in the Sportsman class, while Riddell completed the close top-five while also taking third in Sportsman.
Next up for the Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship at the Daytona Continental Historic Races is this afternoon’s featured Louis Chevrolet Historic Enduro that starts at 2:30 p.m. EST for 75 minutes.
Source: Cayman Interseries
Photo: Margie Gerard