Cayman Interseries News & Notes
One of the most memorable liveries in sports car prototype racing history will return to high-speed life this season in the Cayman Interseries when debuting driver Lori Cassling unveils a 2010 Porsche Cayman S sporting the exact paint scheme of the famous No. 23 “Pink Pig” Porsche 917/20 that raced at Le Mans in 1971.
Cassling and her spouse Randy Cassling, who currently competes in the No. 18 Cayman S that wears the red, yellow and black colors of the factory Shell Porsche 962s, will become the first husband-and-wife competitors in the Cayman Interseries, but that’s not where the family connection stops. The couple’s daughter Kyle Cassling, who is a student at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, will also be listed as a co-driver with her mother for Cayman Interseries endurance races. The Casslings are from Omaha, Nebraska, where their pair of Cayman Interseries race cars are prepared and maintained by CARS (Classic Auto Restoration Services).
“We are going to have a light-hearted family battle and it is going to be a lot of fun,” Randy Cassling said. “This thing that Ron Barnaba and the Napleton people have developed is just a hoot. I don’t think we could have done this type of family-style approach in anything but the Cayman Interseries.”
Lori Cassling will make her racing debut in the distinctive pink car at a Porsche Club of America (PCA) event this summer before entering her first Cayman Interseries race near the end of the season. She has completed three classes and reached masters-plus level in the Porsche Sport Driving School at Barber Motorsports Park in addition to numerous track days and test sessions with driver coach Christian Coggins. Cassling will join her 20-year-old daughter as the only lady drivers in the Cayman Interseries.
“Randy kept nudging me to do this and it should be fun,” Lori Cassling said. “I have driven several Porsches and a Lotus and we just sold a highly-modified Cayman I drove to get the new pink car. I really enjoy this but Kyle is the one who is really fast. She is going to be good.”
The “Pink Pig” was a novelty in the racing world before it even took on its bright hue. The wide but short bodied 917/20 ran in factory Porsche white colors during Le Mans practice days in 1971 and was quickly dubbed the “pig” due to its squatty dimensions. By race time the nickname had stuck and the one-of-a-kind 917 showed up with the now famous pink paint job, complete with outlines of a butcher’s typical cuts for pork. The car ran as high as third overall in the race with drivers Reinhold Joest and Willi Kauhsen but was retired after an accident while running in the top five.
Continuing Napleton Porsche of Westmont’s ongoing commitment to the Cayman Interseries, series organizers and Porsche Napleton Racing conducted a one-day brake systems test at Autobahn Country Club in nearby Joliet, Ill., on Tuesday, April 6. Cayman Interseries chief driving coach and former Trans-Am Champion Jack Baldwin handled the majority of the testing chores along with top series regular Jim Bacus and his No. 3 purple and green Martini “Hippy” car. Autobahn is less than hour from Napleton Porsche headquarters and serves as the official home track of the Cayman Interseries.
“Tuesday’s session is typical of the ongoing tests we regularly conduct to further improve the already competitive and high-performance aspects of the Porsche Cayman S,” said series founder and Napleton Porsche of Westmont General Manager Ron Barnaba. “The Cayman S is an outstanding car and we race them in near-stock configuration, but racing often sees even the best men and machines pushed to the limit. This brake test will ensure that we have the best possible package for our competitors both now and in the future.”
As he has since the series debuted last year, Baldwin anchored the testing at Autobahn in the No. 3 Bacus-owned Cayman.
“The Cayman has fantastic brakes straight from the factory, just like every other component on this great Porsche,” Baldwin said. “In a full-on race, however, brakes are put to test at each and every corner and it is our job to make sure we have the best possible brake components available to our competitors.”
Autobahn is also the home track for the Chicago-based Bacus and he is as quick on that road course as any driver in the Cayman Interseries. He and Baldwin shared the No. 3 throughout the one-day test.
“Jim is excellent behind the wheel and very fast at Autobahn, so we were very glad and appreciative he is participating in this test,” Baldwin said.
ENTRIES MOUNTING FOR “MITTY”
Next up for the Cayman Interseries is the Walter Mitty Race presented by Classic Motorsports Magazine and sponsored by Mazda at Road Atlanta, April 29 – May 2, and a strong field of more than 20 Cayman competitors are expected to turn up for the 34th running of the classic event.
“We are honored to be part of an event as prestigious as the Walter Mitty Race and look forward to being an exciting and colorful part of an already fantastic weekend of racing,” Barnaba said. “The Mitty itself has grown to be as legendary as some of the classic racing machines driven in the event on the equally famous Road Atlanta road course and we are committed to doing our part in the Cayman Interseries to uphold and be part of this tradition.”
Leading the way is Cayman Interseries championship leader Jim McCormick who swept the opening round of races at Sebring last month in his No. 44 Porsche Cayman S that sports the classic livery of the famous Martini “Baby” Porsche 935. McCormick is currently on top of both the sprint-race championship and endurance championship point standings.
Among the drivers heading to Road Atlanta at the end of the month is Tom Bloom, who made his racing debut at the Sebring opener last month in a brand new No. 16 Cayman S that will soon carry the livery of one of Dyson Racing’s famous Porsche 962s. “I was really worried about a lot of cars and traffic around me, but everybody stays kind of compliant and works with you,” Bloom said. “I think people recognize your experience level and just kind of drive away from you! And everybody all weekend, even on the track, has been great and, to me, it was an interesting experience and I have learned a lot.”