Posted (05/19/2011) -
ALTON, Va.—The rain that plagued Virginia International Raceway last weekend wasn’t enough to dampen spirits in the RSR Motorsports camp. The team earned two top-ten finishes in the ST class during Saturday’s Bosch Engineering 200, moving into second in the team championship.
Ron Farmer and Jason Hart notched a finish of sixth in the No. 196 US LED MINI Cooper S, their best finish to date in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series.
Owen Trinkler and Sarah Cattaneo followed in seventh. The finish propelled their No. 198 RSR Motorsports MINI Cooper S—sponsored by Cruise America, Thor Motor Coach, US LED and Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers—to second in team points.
Farmer and Hart started the 2.5-hour race with what they describe as practically a new car. Mechanical problems in practice meant the RSR crew had to put in a lot of work to get the No. 196 MINI up to speed again.
“The team practically rebuilt the car to get us out there; it was a lot of hard work by the team,” says Hart. “It was a tough race with a lot of cautions, but it was so exciting to see Ron out there running as high as second in only his fifth professional race.”
The race, and the strong finish, were equally exciting for Farmer. “That’s the best drive I’ve ever had,” he says. “If there had been fewer cautions, I think we could have done even better; Jason was just on it. The car is in the best shape it’s ever been in: it was so well-balanced and easy to drive.”
For Trinkler and Cattaneo, the race was a challenge from the green flag. “I didn’t qualify where I wanted to,” says Cattaneo, who is sponsored by Global Jet. “But all the testing Ron and Jason have done here, and Owen’s input, really helped us. Plus, we had an awesome strategy.”
RSR Motorsports team owner Randy Smalley, whose No. 197 MINI Cooper S retired with a pulley malfunction, felt that precise setups also aided the team. He says, “As the track went away, it came to us. The MINIs were well setup for a deteriorating track. We’re happy we could get a good result for all the MINI fans who came out to support us. It was a gratifying weekend.”
The Bosch Engineering 200 will be broadcast on SPEED on Sunday, May 22, at 1:00 p.m. Look for the RSR MINIs as they battle to two top-ten finishes. Find photos and more RSR Motorsports news 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.