Golinello Earns Top Tens in World Challenge Double Header Opener
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Richard Golinello got his 2011 SCCA World Challenge season off to the right start with two top-ten finishes during last weekend’s double-header round on the Streets of St. Petersburg.
Golinello finished eighth and seventh in the GTS class behind the wheel of the No. 55 R&C Motorsports Ford Mustang FR500S.
The 2011 season marks Golinello’s first full season in World Challenge, though he tasted success in the series last year. Golinello earned a sixth, seventh and eighth in the select 2010 World Challenge rounds he ran. To date, he has yet to finish outside the top ten.
The weekend marked the first time that Golinello has competed on a street course. “I considered it a win just to finish both races unscathed,” says Golinello. “St. Petersburg is such a tight circuit, and it’s different than anything I’ve done, but it was a lot of fun.”
Golinello qualified ninth in GTS for Saturday’s race, in which he finished eighth. He later qualified eighth for round two on Sunday, then went on to finish seventh in the race.
Although the top-ten results are a great start to the season, Golinello had hoped for better. “We struggled with the setup this weekend,” he says. “We changed some things for Sunday’s race, but I don’t think they really made a difference. I got a better finish simply because I drove the car harder.”
Nevertheless, Golinello is optimistic. “We’re going to take the car back to Long Road Racing and do some tuning to see what we can do. This is last year’s car, so we’ll really see a difference once I take delivery of my 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302.”
Golinello is also optimistic about the upcoming race weekend on the streets of Long Beach, but he is quick to note that St. Petersburg held sentimental value. In addition to it being the start of the new season and his first street course race, it was also his home track. Golinello, who lives in nearby Tampa, had a cheering section of friends and family there.
“It was nice to know that the hometown crowd was there to watch! It made a big difference to know I had fans in the stands cheering me on,” Golinello says.
Golinello and the rest of the World Challenge competitors will take to the streets of Long Beach the weekend of April 15-17. - source: richard golinello PR