Posted (06/07/2011) -
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.—RSR Motorsports began the second half of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season with a finish of ninth at Watkins Glen. Owen Trinkler and Sarah Cattaneo earned the top-ten spot in the ST class as they strive to make up positions in the points chase.
The No. 198 RSR Motorsports MINI Cooper S was in top form, but the fast sections of Watkins Glen were a challenge. “We were quick in qualifying, but we weren’t able to capitalize on that in the race,” says Trinkler. “The guys are doing a great job, though, and the cars are coming to the track well-prepped. Our results don’t equal the effort and talent of this team.”
In fact, RSR Motorsports has risen to new heights in terms of reliability and consistency. The MINIs—sponsored by Cruise America, Thor Motor Coach and US LED—have been extremely reliable all season, with only one mechanical DNF to date. In addition, the drivers all praise the crew for fine-tuning the handling of the MINIs. “These cars have unbelievable handling,” notes team owner Randall Smalley. “That is really one of the best features of the MINI.”
Smalley hopes that nimble handling will be a benefit during round seven at Road America. “Due to some rules changes that restricted our top speed, we weren’t as competitive as we’d hoped at Watkins Glen,” he says. “We’re hoping for better results at Road America. Although it also has some high-speed sections, there are some tight sections where the MINI should be strong.”
The second half of the season includes New Jersey Motorsports Park, where RSR Motorsports claimed its first series win at the hands of Smalley and Trinkler. Technical tracks like that are favorites in the RSR camp.
“We ought to be really good at Laguna Seca, and we know we’re good at New Jersey and Mid-Ohio,” says Smalley. “We’re looking forward to a solid second half of the season. Missing out on the win at Lime Rock really hurt us in the points, so we’ll have to finish strong for the remainder of the season.”
The No. 198 MINI of Trinkler and Cattaneo may have fallen out of second in team points at Lime Rock, but the team is determined to make up the lost ground. Every point will be vital as RSR Motorsports strives for a championship.
While Cattaneo and Trinkler were on their points chase at Watkins Glen, the No. 195 MINI Cooper S of VJ Mirzayan and Chris Sarian followed closely, taking home a finish of 13th.
Ron Farmer and Jason Hart had a dramatic end to their race in the No. 196 US LED MINI Cooper S. An exhaust issue caused a plastic piece beneath the car to ignite. The fire looked bad, but Hart came away unscathed and there was minimal damage to the MINI.
The Continental Tire 150 at Watkins Glen airs on SPEED on Sunday, June 12, at 5:00 p.m. ET. The next race for RSR Motorsports will be the weekend of June 23-24.
Keep up with RSR Motorsports online as they make the push for points during the rest of the season by visiting 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.