Source: CRG-I Do Borrow
This last week at Sebring International Raceway for the Sebring 150, the second round of the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSC) Series season, proved yet again that any team, no matter how big or small, has the opportunity to succeed through hard work. Although the CRG-I Do Borrow team is small in numbers, they are vast in spirit and are as much of a family as they are a team.
Drivers Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler started the event out with a strong promoter test day to set the tone for the week in their #44 I Do Borrow/A&C Properties Honda Civic Si. During the first and second official practices of the weekend the team mostly focused on making their car strong over the long run of the race as opposed to just quick on any given lap. Overall pace wouldn’t rule the day come the race, as they weren’t anticipating many yellow flags in the race, so the car had to be as good at the end of a long green flag stint as in the beginning.
Cattaneo would qualify the car in the 14th starting position, and at the drop of the green flag started making steady strides forward during her stint. The team would call a great strategy by pitting for driver change and full service as soon as their window opened to finish the race on one stop. Sarah would bring the #44 entry into the pits within the Top-10, and as the rest of the field cycled through their stops, Owen would find himself within the Top-5. Poised for a strong run, Trinkler steadily began making his way forward, picking off one competitor at a time. Before long the pink and black liveried Honda would be in the lead, and pulling away from the rest of the field.
In the end, the combination of Cattaneo and Trinkler would take the checker flag with a monumental win, set the fast lap in the race for the Street Tuner (ST) field, and take over the points lead in the Team and Drivers’ championships. In true family fashion, this win would mean more than most, with high emotions all around. Sarah clutching to her father and Team Owner Joe in celebration and Owen deep in thought as this marked the anniversary of his own fathers passing, who happened to last watch Owen race at the famed Sebring circuit.
“It’s been a while since Sarah and I were on the top step of the podium, and I’m so happy for her, Joe (Cattaneo) and the entire team that puts in so much work. I had a feeling about this weekend, I wasn’t able to have my family here, but my wife kept the kids out of school today so they could watch the race online.
Trinkler continues, “With the anniversary of my Dad’s passing, and this being the last place he ever watched me race, this win will go down as one of most important to me personally. I want to thank Joe and the entire CRG team, Sarah, who’s grown so much as a driver, and my family for their never ending support.”
Cattaneo could be seen in pit lane pacing anxiously as the race wound to a close with her teammate in the lead, refusing to celebrate until it was official. “Sebring was a real dream come true to win at such a historic place. Owen and I, and the whole team have worked so hard for this, and for all that hard work to pay off is such an incredible feeling.
Sarah continues, “You can never explain what a win feels like until it actually happens, and this win feels earned. We’ve put blood, sweat and tears into this program, and the reward was unbelievable. I’m not sure it’s truly sunk in that we won yet. It’s one of those moments that I’ll hold onto for the rest of my life. Yes, we’re the smallest team in the paddock, but have such great people around us like the Rum Bum team doing our pit stops; it feels great to have captured this victory for everyone that’s put in so much effort and hard work.”
The victory was the sixth for Trinkler and second for Cattaneo in their CTSC career’s, and their first since 2012. Sarah is one of only two female drivers with victories in the CTSC series’ history. The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series Sebring 150 race can be viewed via tape delayed broadcast on Fox Sports 1 on March 27th, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. EST.