SALINAS, Calif.-RSR Motorsports already has a lot to celebrate as they prepare for this weekend's round nine of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Mazda Raceway. By the time the race is over on Saturday, they hope to have even more to celebrate.
Owen Trinkler, Team Manager and co-driver of the No. 197 RSR Motorsports Honda Civic Si, is celebrating his newest title of father. Trinkler's wife Kim gave birth to the couple's first son, Lucas Owen Trinkler, on Saturday, September 1.
Trinkler has plenty of experience at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but his co-driver Corey Fergus will be visiting the track for the first time.
"The Honda is a very balanced car and has good top speed, and I think the car's performance surprised people at Barber, which has some similarities with Laguna," says Fergus, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday. "I think we can be competitive there, and Owen certainly knows the fast way around Laguna. We can make it happen; we just need things to go our way in the race."
Mark Congleton, who drives the No. 195 RSR Motorsports MINI Cooper S with Chris Puskar, is hoping for a good qualifying session on Friday to help celebrate his 11th wedding anniversary. Laguna is Congleton's favorite track, and he is looking forward to putting the CaseTech-sponsored MINI through its paces.
"The handling of the MINI is really strong around that entire track. The handling is just so good, and it's easy to drive the MINI around Laguna Seca," Congleton says. "The camber in the turns allows you to really throw the car into the turns. It's just a great track. The turns are very quick so you can really feel the side forces."
Ron Farmer and Jason Hart had the highest-finishing RSR Motorsports entry at Laguna last year, taking 9th in a MINI. This year, they return in the No. 196 US LED Honda Civic Si.
Chris Knox and Randall Smalley will complete the RSR Motorsports lineup, co-driving the No. 198 MINI Cooper S. Knox is no stranger to MINI racing: Knox is the 2011 British MINI Challenge champion and he drove with RSR Motorsports in the season opener at Daytona. Knox will also join the team for the season finale at Lime Rock.
The MINI presence at Laguna Seca will be a big one, thanks to a MINI Cooper Car Corral. About 250 MINIs, all owned by race fans, are expected to be on display in the corral.