Posted (02/01/2012) -
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—RSR Motorsports put three cars in the top twenty during Friday’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Ron Farmer and Jason Hart finished 16th in the No. 196 US LED MINI Cooper S, earning the highest finish of the day for RSR Motorsports. Daytona is always a challenge for the MINIs, whose style and power are better suited for small, tight road courses. To make the day even more challenging, the No. 196 lost its power steering shortly after the race began.
Farmer started the race, and he says, “We had a car that is down on power compared to other Street Tuner entries, and we lost power steering a third of the way into the race. It was tough to go through the bus stop one-handed with no power steering!”
Hart, who ran as high as 11th during his stint, adds, “The most difficult thing was turn one, since it’s such a high-speed corner and you’re turning and braking and downshifting. I think all the cars overcame quite a bit in the race. We overcame our aerodynamic disadvantages as best we could. We’re happy with our finish and to have a whole car to take to the next race.”
Owen Trinkler and Jason Puskar co-drove the No. 197 RSR Motorsports Honda Civic SI. The team took delivery of the car just two days before the race, leaving little time for fine-turning the setup. Still, Trinkler and Puskar were able to finish 18th in the Street Tuner class, despite making two pit stops.
“Chris got up to fourth, so it wasn’t a bad weekend for us, considering we just got the car. We went a lap down with the second pit stop, but we’ve already shown we can run up front in the Honda. We’re excited about the rest of the year,” says Trinkler.
Randall Smalley, Craig Conway and Chris Knox—the 2011 UK MINI Challenge Champion—finished 20th in the No. 195 RSR Motorsports MINI Cooper S, meaning that three team cars started the season with a top-20 finish at the high-speed Daytona circuit.
“As I’ve always said, a top ten at Daytona is a win, and a top 20 is a second place. We had three cars finish in the top 20, so that’s pretty good. This is not a friendly place for us: aerodynamics is a huge problem for us, but the MINIs were running as well as they could here,” says RSR Motorsports Team Owner Randall Smalley.
Corey Fergus and Kyle Gimple finished 35th in the No. 198 RSR Motorsports MINI Cooper S.
After Friday’s 2.5-hour GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car race, the entire RSR Motorsports crew went on to crew for the No. 82 Dick Greer Racing Porsche GT3 during the 50th Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Trinkler also drove the car, and the team finished 21st in the GT class.
Keep up with the team online at www.RSRMotorsports.com, and catch the season opener broadcast on SPEED on Saturday, February 4, at noon E.T.
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, Eibach Springs, Midway Ford Truck Sales, Mini North Scottsdale, Performance Speed Tech, and Carbotech Pads.