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ST Season Finale Could Be End of Era for CRG’s Cattaneo, Trinkler

Road Atlanta could be end of an era for CRG’s Cattaneo, Trinkler…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

There’s an old saying – “All good things must come to an end.”

For Sarah Cattaneo, Owen Trinkler and the CRG-I Do Borrow team, that end could be this weekend at Road Atlanta.

The No. 44 entry has been a staple in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST class paddock since Cattaneo’s father, Joe, bought the team in 2014, but next year raises a big question mark.

The news that the CRG wouldn’t run a full-time schedule next year was made official to the team at Virginia International Raceway in August, the same weekend they found victory lane for the first time since Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2016.

“I think that’s one reason that win at VIR was emotional for all of us,” Trinkler said. “You never know when the next one is going to come – not to say we can’t do it at Atlanta.

“I know we can and we’ve been on a great run since VIR and we did a great job at Laguna Seca.

“I think that was pretty emotional though to know that news was happening, to learn that the day before, then to go out and win the next day.”

The win was just one of the highlights for the team this year.

Cattaneo and Trinkler have finished on the podium four times and are currently tied for fourth in the driver point standings and third in the team standings.

On a personal note, Cattaneo also celebrated her engagement at Road America in August. Her boyfriend proposed when she got out of the car during the team’s mid-race driver change.

“We have so much going on next year,” Cattaneo said. “My sister is getting married on Sebring weekend, so I wouldn’t be able to make that one anyways – which is a bummer because Owen and I love Sebring and we’ve done so well there – and then I’m getting married.

“It’s been an incredible nine years of my life, but things change and I’m kind of looking forward to that next chapter.”

While 2017 has been one of the more successful years for the two drivers that have been on-and-off teammates since 2008, there have been some lows as well, finishing outside the top 15 three times this season.

“We always joke that if we don’t win, we DNF type-of-thing, unfortunately,” Cattaneo said.

“We always strive for consistency, but it’s been really good other than that. Last year, we were super fast at Atlanta and I think this car really loves that track.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Jim [Haaser, team engineer] and our guys to set this car up and give us a chance to podium for sure, if not win.”

And while most signs point to the team not rejoining the field in 2018, there may be one situation that could bring the car back on the grid.

“They want to go and do a limited schedule next year and they only want to do that if I’m available,” said Trinkler, who holds the most Continental Tire Challenge starts of any driver at 136.

“But in saying that, they said ‘We don’t want to keep you tied to us because you’re worthy of being in a full-season ride somewhere else.’

“[CTSC] has been a home for me since ’97 so I love being a part of it.

“My 2018 right now, I don’t have anything set in stone. I’m currently looking and I’m hoping to find something full season, but if I don’t, I know I’ll come back and run a limited schedule with Sarah and Joe.

“I think Joe has done a great job with this team and shown what you can do for a small organization and when you put a good group together.”

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