RSR Motorsports will have a lot of familiar faces next year as five drivers return to the team for another season of GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.
Ron Farmer and Jason Hart had a successful first season in the Street Tuner class during 2011. They earned four top-ten finishes, with a best of sixth at Virginia International Raceway. The duo will once again co-drive the No. 196 U.S. LED MINI Cooper S.
Farmer was encouraged by the recent test at Daytona International Raceway, where he and Hart finished seventh last year. “The test was only my second time at Daytona, and I think we can do well there,” says Farmer. “We’re down on horsepower compared to other cars, but we qualified well last year. If we can get that prefect run again—that draft—we can hope for the best again.”
Hart adds, “Our outlook is really bright. Ron and I learned a lot of valuable lessons in our rookie season, and some of those unenjoyable lessons will make for an enjoyable 2012. We made some developments on the shock package, and it was really a positive change for the test at Daytona.”
Hart has stayed busy this off-season, including a class win in his rookie outing at the Baja 1000. “Winning the Baja 1000 was incredible. It’s such an historic race and something I’ve paid attention to since I was a kid. To compete in the biggest off-road race in the world is amazing, to win it is over the top,” Hart says.
Chris Puskar, Mark Congleton and Dicky Riegel are returning to RSR Motorsports to drive the No. 195 MINI Cooper S.
Puskar earned second place in an RSR MINI at New Jersey last year. It was only his second of three races in the series, but he will race every event in 2012. “I’ll be returning as a rookie in the series. I’m very excited about it,” Puskar says. “I was really impressed with Dicky when we drove together at Mid-Ohio last year. He was really competitive. I also saw the lap times that Mark was running; he’s really quick and I was impressed with his abilities, as well.”
Riegel, who earned his own second place at Lime Rock last year, thinks the 2012 driver line-up and the strength of the RSR MINIs is a winning combination. He says, “I’m really looking forward to returning to RSR for my fourth season with the team. It’s been pretty incredible to watch the team develop over the past several years. They have turned into a truly competitive team and a leader in the series. I have to believe that with the strength of the drivers we have this year, we’ll be seeing the RSR cars on the podium a lot more often.”
Congleton, who will be co-driving with Puskar for half of the season, says, “I’m very excited about running with Chris. In the short time he was with RSR last year, he demonstrated an ability to get the car to the front of the pack quickly. My first goal is to get at least one podium and hopefully a win. I want to be instrumental in assisting Chris with getting rookie of the year.”
The drivers returning to RSR Motorsports will have their first chance at a 2012 podium finish during the GRAND-AM 200 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, January 27.