Tag Archives : Automatic Racing


RSR Motorsports: Lime Rock is made for MINIs

RSR Motorsports MINI 197The GRAND-AM season continues this weekend at Lime Rock in Connecticut and RSR Motorsports has high hopes to get back on the podium.  The team is confident and thinks the MINIs have an advantage there.  Says driver Sarah Canttaneo:

“Lime Rock is probably the best track on the schedule for us. It’s all about cornering and the balance of the car, and the MINIs are perfect in those aspects.”

Read the entire article.

More information on the race from the GRAND-AM website.


Barber Motorsports Park next up for RSR Motorsports

Hoping to carry their momentum into the next race in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, RSR Motorsports and Automatic Racing head to Barber Motorsports Park.  The next race is on April 10, 2010 at 5:00pm.  See the GRAND-AM Event Information.

GoRacingTV.com has a race preview featuring driver Sarah Cattaneo:

However, that won’t be exactly the scene for those cars competing in GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner class on April 10 at Barber Motorsports Park. Drivers in a trio of Mini Cooper models will race against competitors in Chevrolet Cobalts, Mazda MX-5s and Honda Civics in a two-and-a-half hour race at the scenic 2.3-mile, 17-turn track in Birmingham, Ala.

Among those driving is 24-year-old Sarah Cattaneo, who, like prominent female driver Danica Patrick, calls Scottsdale, Ariz., home. Cattaneo is in her second full season competing in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, and recently won her first career ST class pole position at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Her team, RSR Motorsports, finished fourth at Barber Motorsports Park last season.

Read the entire article Cattaneo Heads To Barber in a Mini Cooper.


PaddockTalk: A Pole and a Podium at Homestead

PaddockTalk has a review of Automatic Racing and RSR Motorsports’s results at Homestead-Miami Speedway:

The second round of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season was a memorable one for Automatic Racing and RSR Motorsports. Sarah Cattaneo earned the Street Tuner pole in the Automatic-prepared No. 197 RSR Mini Cooper S, while teammates BJ Zacharias and Craig Conway took home third in the No. 198 Mini.

The 2.5-hour race at Homestead-Miami Speedway started with Cattaneo on the Street Tuner (ST) pole, the first time a female driver has qualified on the series pole in three years. Cattaneo held down second place during her stint, and it seemed that she and co-driver VJ Mirzayan would hold on for a podium finish. A mechanical problem dropped them back, though, before their eventual retirement.

Meanwhile, Conway and Zacharias stayed busy working their way up from 29th on the starting grid. The No. 198 Mini pitted during a caution, allowing Conway to hand over to Zacharias without losing too many spots on the track. From there, Zacharias continued moving to the front.

The third-place finish—RSR’s first podium in the series—came despite driving conservatively to save fuel. “We had to short-shift and try to conserve, so I couldn’t push too much,” said Zacharias. “It was a three-lap dash to the end for the top three cars, and I ran out of gas going into the hairpin. It’s great to be back with RSR; Randy (Smalley) really deserves credit for what he’s done with this program.”

Read the rest of Automatic Racing and RSR Motorsports: A Pole and a Podium at Homestead.


MINI makes the podium at Homestead-Miami

While it wasn’t the 197 MINI that started on the pole, RSR Motorsports and Automatic Racing did reach the podium for the Homestead 200.  The 198 MINI co-driven by BJ Zacharias and Craig Conway took third place in the Street Tuner (ST) class.  Randy Smalley and Owen Trinkler in the 196 MINI took 23rd place in ST while the 197 MINI co-driven by Sarah Cattaneo and VJ Mirzayan came in 27th.

See the complete results.


MINI captures pole for GRAND-AM race at Homestead-Miami

A MINI Cooper S has captured the pole for today’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

From PaddockTalk:

In the Street Tuner (ST) class, Sarah Cattaneo led an abbreviated session and will lead 33 cars to the green flag for that race.

Cattaneo drove the No. 197 Cruise America/Four Winds RV Mini Cooper S to a time of 1:31.810 (90.186 mph). Her time came midway through the session, which ended prematurely when Gunter Schmidt – driving the No. 22 Sick Kids Foundation/C&P Cross Border Chevrolet Cobalt SS – hit the wall in Turn 1, causing severe front end damage to the car. Schmidt was not seriously injured in the incident.

Cattaneo, who is in her first full season with RSR Motorsports, becomes the first female driver since Valerie Limoges to win a pole position in the series since 2007. Limoges also accomplished her feat at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Cattaneo’s co-driver is VJ Mirzayan, and the duo’s car was among the fastest in morning practice.

“RSR Motorsports put together a great car for me,” Cattaneo said. “I got a great tow off of one of the Jettas. He took me all the way through three and four. That’s basically how I got my fast lap.”

Randy and Sarah

Randy Smalley and Sarah Cattaneo


GRAND-AM Homestead-Miami race preview

RSR Motorsports MINIs
PaddockTalk has a preview of the Automatic Racing and RSR Motorsports teams’ upcoming GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  The race takes place on Saturday, March 6th, at 1:05pm.

RSR Motorsports is back with their MINI 196 driven by Randy Smalley and Owen Trinkler and MINI 197 driven by Sarah Cattaneo and VJ Mirzayan.  For Homestead-Miami they are joined by the third car, MINI 198 driven by BJ Zacharias and Craig Conway.

Read the race preview at PaddockTalk (duplicated at RSR Motorsports website).

See the Grand Prix of Miami Event Information page on the GRAND-AM website.

Follow the thread on North American Motoring with comments by Randy himself.


RSR Motorsports at the Fresh from Florida 200

The Daytona racing season began yesterday with the Fresh from Florida 200, the initial race of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (formerly the KONI Challenge).  RSR Motorsports, along with Automatic Racing, are very optimistic about the coming season.  They have prepared three MINIs, two of which were entered into the race yesterday.  Team owner Randy Smalley paired up with returning driver Owen Trinkler in the 196 MINI Cooper S.  New drivers to RSR Motorsports Sarah Cattaneo and VJ Mirzayan teamed up in the 197 MINI Cooper S which started the race in the top five positions.

On an overcast but warm afternoon, the race began with a few caution flags but had few major incidents.  The two MINIs began strong with both moving up in the pack.  Sarah took the 197 MINI all the way to second place before giving up some of those spots midway through the race.  Randy was driving well but a few laps before he was to hand the driving to Owen, the 196 MINI developed electrical problems and left the race.

After an excellent first track outing in a MINI for Sarah, it was time for VJ to take the wheel.  He also raced well, taking the 197 MINI back into third place and posting the fastest lap of the day in ST class.  It looked like a possible podium finish for MINI.  However, with about ten laps remaining, the 197 MINI suffered the same electrical problems which caused the MINI to lose power and go into “limp mode”.  The racing day was over for RSR Motorsports.

I caught up with the ever-friendly Randy Smalley in the garage area following the race.  He was obviously disappointed at the problems with the MINIs, but was also very satisfied with the performance of the cars and the preparation done by Automatic Racing.  Several other drivers expressed how impressed they were by the MINIs and worried how strong the MINIs will be in future races on a tighter racetrack.  Randy and the team are quite hopeful for the rest of the season and the Library of Motoring will be following their progress.

See the official results.


Automatic Racing, RSR preview

RSR Motorsports MINI 196
I wrote a few weeks ago about RSR Motorsports and Automatic Racing joining forces to build and race MINIs in the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (formerly the KONI Challenge).  The first race is the Fresh from Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, January 29th.

The combined teams will be fielding two MINIs: the 196 co-driven by Randall Smalley and Owen Trinkler, and the 197 co-driven by Sarah Cattaneo and VJ Mirzayan.

Motorsport.com has an update on the testing at Daytona:

“The test was probably the best one we’ve ever had at Daytona, so that’s encouraging for the rest of the season. It’s not just about one race: you have to look at the big picture and where you want to be at the end of the season,” Trinkler noted.

“I think we’ve really got the handling down. The Mini performed really well in the infield during the test,” said Smalley. “The Automatic Racing crew has done a great job of preparing the Minis and we’ve got experienced drivers behind the wheel, so we’re pretty confident.”

Read the entire article.

The Library of Motoring will be attending the race on Friday and will post race results and photos as soon as possible.