Posted (06/23/2010) -
LEXINGTON, Ohio—During round seven of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Mid-Ohio, RSR Motorsports combined speed and reliability to give their MINI Cooper S entries an impressive showing.
The RSR Motorsports Minis have been fast all season, but reliability issues have resulted in a number of disappointing finishes. Now, with new chassis engineer Jim Haaser on board, the MINIs have the perfect combination of speed, agility and reliability.
“Mid-Ohio was one of our best weekends so far,” says team manager Owen Trinkler. “Jim has really helped resolve some issues with the cars. We saw major steps, and I think we’ll take strides each time out.”
Proving that Mid-Ohio is a great track for the MINI, BJ Zacharias and Mark Congleton were consistently fast in the No. 196 RSR Motorsports MINI Cooper S sponsored by CaseTech. The car had the fastest lap in the second practice session, and Congleton followed that up by qualifying fifth.
VJ Mirzayan and Sarah Cattaneo were also quick in the No. 197 RSR Motorsports MINI Cooper S. Cattaneo qualified eighth in the Street Tuner class, and she and Mirzayan went on to finish 11th in the race.
“We wanted a ‘1,’ but we got two of them instead!” says Mirzayan. “The MINI was really consistent throughout the race. We couldn’t have asked any more from the team or our cars. We found reliability and the team came together really well.”
“Jim Haaser has been an amazing addition to our team and the crew worked so hard to get our car ready,” says Cattaneo. “The car felt incredible and this was one of the best races we’ve had all year.”
After a solid start in the No. 196 MINI, Congleton was hit from behind by another car, resulting in a flat tire and a great deal of damage to the MINI. Congleton pitted for a new tire, and he and Zacharias soldiered on to finish 19th.
“The results don’t show the reliability and the great handling these MINIs have now,” says team owner Randall Smalley. “Both cars finished, and the fuel and belt issues have been turned around.”
The Mid-Ohio race will be televised on SPEED on Saturday, June 26 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The next GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race for RSR Motorsports will be at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 17.
RSR Motorsports is sponsored by Cruise America, Four Winds International, MINI USA, Performance Friction Rotors, OS Giken Racing Clutches and Limited Slip Differentials, Midway Ford Truck Sales, Mini North Scottsdale, Motul USA, and Cobalt Racing Pads.
Keep up with the team online at www.RSRMotorsports.com.