Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler know how to win exactly when it matters most.
At Virginia International Raceway in August, the co-drivers and the rest of the No. 44 CRG-I Do Borrow Nissan Altima team discovered they would not be competing full-time in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge next season. The next day, they brought home the Street Tuner (ST) class win.
Friday was no different.
Faced with what could possibly be their last race together, the co-drivers, who have been on-and-off teammates since Trinkler began coaching Cattaneo in 2008, ran consistently and completed the Cinderella story in the FOX Factory 120 at Road Atlanta.
Both drivers were emotional in victory lane surrounded by family and friends.
“It was crazy,” said Cattaneo. “I think I was pacing back and forth for the last 30 minutes. I don’t know where it went, it was the longest 30 minutes of my life. It was absolutely amazing. I have to thank Continental Tire and my family, Owen, the entire team for making this happen. It’s been emotional, it’s been amazing and it couldn’t end any better.”
“The guys did a great job with the car set up,” said Trinkler. “We set it up for the hot conditions. I can’t thank Jim Haaser (lead engineer), Brian Buttler (crew chief), Richie (Thrembly), everybody on the team. Sarah drove a great stint and did what she needed to do and then we were just able to get away. The car was awesome. This is so great to end on for Sarah. That hood right there (which fans signed during the grid walk) is going in her house, it’s just unreal.”
The win also moved the team up to second in the final point standings, after a tough day for Nick Galante and Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 17 RS1 Porsche Cayman ended with the car stopped in Turn 5 with half an hour remaining. The No. 17 finished third in the standings after winning the class championship last year.
Roy Block and Pierre Kleinubing landed second on the podium in their No. 75 C360R Audi S3, after taking home their first win of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca two weeks ago. Finishing third were Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer in the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5, who also have two wins in 2017.
Eric Foss in the No. 56 Murillo Racing is the stand-alone champion in the ST class for the second time in his career. Co-driver Jeff Mosing was forced to withdraw from competition two races ago due to an injury sustained during a race in July, nearly duplicating an identical situation to 2014 when Foss was crowned champion the first time.
The race broadcast of the FOX Factory 120 will air Sunday, Oct. 15 at 7 a.m. ET on FS1.