Posted (10/05/2012) -
LAKEVILLE, Conn.—On Friday, RSR Motorsports wrapped up a year of transition, completing their first season racing Hondas in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, and their final season racing the iconic MINI Cooper S.
The 2.5-hour race at Lime Rock Park was a bittersweet one for the team that developed the MINI Cooper S into a competitive race car. MINI fans were on hand to give the car a proper sendoff, and Motoring Alliance—an online MINI Cooper forum—presented the team with a banner.
Sarah Cattaneo and Chris Knox finished 19th in the No. 198 Cruise America/Thor Motor Coach MINI Cooper S. After qualifying was rained out, teams started based on points, and Cattaneo was able to gain over ten positions before a hit from another car. Still, she and Knox fought on in the rain to take the checkered flag.
Chris Puskar and Dicky Riegel were 23rd in the No. 195 MINI. Both drivers are longtime RSR Motorsports team members and MINI drivers.
Corey Fergus and Owen Trinkler wrapped up their first season in the No. 197 Honda Civic Si. They finished 20th after pitting under green and dealing with a fogging windshield. Lime Rock also marked the conclusion of Fergus’s rookie season in the series.
“Before the season started, I’d only been to two of the ten tracks on the schedule and I’d never driven a front-wheel drive car. Everything was new to me!” says Fergus. “I had a great season and surpassed my own expectations. I didn’t expect to get two poles and a win in my first year!”
Fergus and Trinkler both give the RSR Motorsports crew credit for their success, especially in a car that was new to the team. “I think the team showed how capable they are of taking a different brand and making progress with it. We’re one of the only two Honda teams that won this year, and overall as a team we did really well. We feel really strong about going into next year now that we’ve had a year with the Hondas,” says Trinkler.
RSR Motorsports team owner Randall Smalley agrees, saying, “We’ve worked really hard on the transition to a different brand. We’re looking forward to focusing on the Hondas next year: they’re great cars, and they’re really reliable. We’ll be building cars over the offseason and are already excited about Daytona in January.”
The team will actually be heading to Daytona in less than a week for a test as they continue to develop the Hondas. “RSR going to the Honda was a good choice, and it was fun participating in the development in it,” says Hart, who along with Ron Farmer finished 24th at Lime Rock in the No. 196 US LED Honda Civic Si. “I’m looking forward to seeing the development of the new cars in the off-season. Ron and I had a tough season this year, but we had a lot of good times because RSR is very supportive and just a good group of people.”
RSR Motorsports will be making announcements about their 2013 driver line-up over the coming months. Stay up to date with the team online at RSRMotorsports.com and interact at www.facebook.com/RSRMotorports.
RSR Motorsports is sponsored by Cruise America, Thor Motor Coach, US LED, Honda HPD, MINI USA, Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers, CaseTech, OS Giken Racing Clutches and Limited Slip Differentials, Eibach Springs, Performance Racing Oils/Millers Oils, Midway Ford Truck Sales, DBA USA, MINI North Scottsdale, Team RaceWorks, Performance Speed Tech, and Carbotech Pads.