FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2016 – The ninth round of a scheduled 10 in the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series got off to a very strong start for the CRG-I Do Borrow team. Throughout the first two practices team drivers Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler were inside the Top-10, and the prospects of qualifying and the race looked positive.
Cattaneo was able to put the #44 Nissan Altima Coupe on the front row during qualifying in second place, and the much desired outside position going into turn one for the race start. This was Sarah’s first front row qualifying effort since the 2011 season, and put a great deal of confidence into the team and fear into the competition.
At the drop of the green flag Cattaneo had a very strong start and within the first few laps had taken the lead. After swapping places with the championship points leading Mazda throughout her stint, she was able to take the lead for good several laps before turning the car over to teammate Trinkler. Following the pit stop Owen was able to pick up where Sarah left off. Before long he too passed for the lead in the Street Tuner (ST) class.
Trinklers lead was short lived, he had an electrical issue with 30-minutes remaining that took him out of the lead and ultimately out of the race. The extreme heat approaching 100 degrees and long laps around Circuit of the America’s (COTA) 3.41 mile road course wreaked havoc on many of the competitors during the race with much higher attrition throughout the field than normally takes place in the ultra-competitive ST class.
Sarah’s enthusiasm about her and her teams’ performance at COTA rang through in her post-race comments. “The beginning of the weekend was awesome. Qualifying on the front row and leading the race, you really can’t ask for anything more than that. I really happy with my opening stint, and the crew did a great job getting the car prepared. I really can’t thank the team enough for all they do for Owen and me. The races don’t always go as planned, which is why we do this, but we’ll be prepared and back at Road Atlanta for the final round.”
Owen, always the optimist, focused more on the positives of the weekend, then on the disappointment of how it ended. “Sarah did a great job this weekend in both qualifying and the race. She’s come a long way with this car in a short period of time. As a team we expect that she’ll be able to qualify and run towards the front of the field, and she’s doing that. It’s great to see her confidence grow as the season’s gone on. The crew executed a great pit stop, and I was able to run the leaders back down to retake the lead before the issue arose. I’m mostly disappointed for the crew, they work so hard to prepare this car, and they see what the car is capable of. They know the podium was in reach the past few events, and we want to reward them with that at Road Atlanta to end the season with momentum.”
The Circuit of the America’s 150 can be viewed via tape delayed broadcast on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday, September 25th at 5:00 pm EDT.
For more information, visit www.p1groupe.com. Follow us on Twitter: @IDoBorrow @SarahCattaneo @OwenTrinkler @P1Groupe