Owen Trinkler New Jersey Race Review The RSR Motorsports team had high hopes going into the New Jersey round of the 2009 Koni Challenge Series. Their Mini's have shown good pace there before, and with the additional development another season ...
Owen Trinkler New Jersey Race Review
The RSR Motorsports team had high hopes going into the New Jersey round of the 2009 Koni Challenge Series. Their Mini's have shown good pace there before, and with the additional development another season brings, figured to see them running for the lead throughout the event.
The weekend started off just the way Owen and the team expected with a top- 5 result in the Thursday test day as they dialed in the #197 Cruise America Mini Cooper S. With Friday came not only the first official practice of the weekend, but also the cold wet conditions that would continue throughout the weekend. On the forth lap of the practice session the throw out bearing let go and that was it for the #197 entry on the day.
With the car needing service, the team focused their effort on a race set up and wound up missing the balance of the practice and qualifying sessions and would find itself starting last in the race. Owen and co-driver Randy Smalley would have to get as much done in the Saturday warm up as possible. This became an increasingly difficult task as the car was only able to muster half throttle for the session, again setting the effort back a few paces to get ready for the race.
The crew worked very hard to solve the throttle issue in time for the start of the race, but came up short on time, and already having to start last for missing the qualifying session on Friday, knew they had their work cut out for them. Randy would start the race in 27th position, still with an issue with the throttle plaguing the #197 Mini Cooper S. Randy would turn the car over to Owen, and wound up getting a 21st position result out of the race. The team looked at the data and figured they were losing some 20 mph on the top end, and against this level of competition, it was just too much to overcome. Trinkler states of the race; "It was a tough race for the Cruise America team. We were able to move through the field a bit to finish 21st, but I'm a little disappointed because I think we would've had a top-5 with a strong car."
The RSR Motorsports team did have some shining moments as sister car #198 did lead 3 laps in the race, and ran in P2 position for much of it before a broken axle finished their day early. The team will skip the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca round to gear up fully prepared for Lime Rock Park. "Everyone at RSR is incredibly disappointed, and we know we have several changes to make before Lime Rock. In this series, it's so competitive we have to really work together as a group to be successful. We are all really looking forward to showing excellent pace against the Koni Challenge field at our home track at Lime Rock which is less than 100 miles from the teams' shop in Oxford, Connecticut " states Trinkler.
Owen won't be sitting on the couch watching his Koni competitors come the next round of the series, but instead hard at work training as part of Team Gran Fondo/Bianchi road race team. "I race bikes for them when I have time and it really helps keep me sharp for the race car!"