Posted (04/13/2011) -
LEEDS, Ala.—Owen Trinkler and Sarah Cattaneo drove the No. 198 RSR Motorsports MINI Cooper S to 11th in the ST class of Saturday’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park. It wasn’t the podium finish they had hoped for, but it represented a solid showing after a day of obstacles.
Cattaneo qualified eighth for the Barber 200, her best qualifying effort of the season, but the No. 198—sponsored by Cruise America, Thor Motor Coach, US LED and Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers—was sent to the back of the starting grid because of a data recorder malfunction.
“Eighth was a great spot to be for the start. Then they told us I had to start from the back, and it wasn’t because of anything we could have prevented. The guys had worked so hard to get us ready for qualifying, so it was disappointing for the whole team,” says Cattaneo. “I had to prepare myself mentally to start from the back again. It was the second time in three races, and I just got in a groove and tried to go as fast as I could.”
Following Cattaneo’s stint, Trinkler took over in the No. 198 MINI. He worked his way into the lead, and the team opted to pit for four fresh tires to make a final push to the checkered flag. Instead, Trinkler found himself pushed against a wall after going off track. He was able to continue, and fought back to finish 11th.
“I’m glad we finished where we did considering all that we were up against, and thankfully the car isn’t too badly damaged. I got the worst of it,” says Trinkler. “I’m disappointed to lose out on points, but hopefully we’ve gotten the bad luck out of our system for the year.”
VJ Mirzayan and Dicky Riegel were able to notch a top-15 finish for RSR Motorsports with their 14th in the No. 195 MINI Cooper S. The No. 196 US LED MINI Cooper S of Ron Farmer and Jason Hart retired early with a broken control arm.
Although there is a month until round four at Virginia International Raceway, RSR Motorsports will be there in just two weeks for testing. Farmer and Hart will turn laps in the No. 196 US LED MINI as they prepare for their first GRAND-AM race at the circuit. A team test is also scheduled at Watkins Glen during the brief break.
The Barber 200 airs on SPEED on Saturday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Keep up with the team online at www.RSRMotorsports.com.
RSR Motorsports is sponsored by Cruise America, Thor Motor Coach, US LED, MINI USA, Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers, Performance Friction Rotors, OS Giken Racing Clutches and Limited Slip Differentials, Midway Ford Truck Sales, Mini North Scottsdale, Performance Speed Tech, and Carbotech Pads.