LEXINGTON, Ohio-Richard Golinello made his SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge debut at Mid-Ohio last weekend, driving his No. 55 R&C Motorsports Ford Mustang to finishes of sixth and seventh in the GTS class during the double header.
Golinello joined five other Ford Racing Mustang Challenge competitors for the weekend. Since the announcement that the Mustang series will not return in 2011, both competitors and series officials have been working to incorporate the cars into World Challenge.
The Mustangs joined the GTS class, but they were also racing for Mustang honors. Golinello's sixth-place finish in Saturday's race netted him third place among Mustang entrants. In Sunday's race, Golinello finished seventh in GTS and fourth in the Mustang class.
"The car is running really well and the handling was great," says Golinello. "We really saw strides now that the suspension problems we discovered at the last round have been sorted out."
For Golinello, getting a podium finish in the Mustang class was only a part of the weekend's excitement. "I had so much fun with all the traffic from the other classes," he says. "There was always so much going on, and you could never lose your focus."
Golinello expects to compete in the World Challenge season finale at Miller Motorsports Park, and he is already discussing plans to run the full series in 2011. He hopes a viable package for the Mustang Challenge cars will enable that to become a reality. So far, the Mustang competitors have been welcomed, and Golinello emphasizes how much fun he had right from the start.
"The standing starts are unbelievably fun," he enthuses. "It's just a mess of cars taking off, and you don't know where anyone is going to go. I got a good launch in both races and really enjoyed that format."
Golinello's next event will be the final two Ford Racing Mustang Challenge races of the season. The season-and the series-concludes with a double-header on September 11-12 at Miller Motorsports Park. After that, he hopes to return to Miller for the World Challenge weekend from October 1-3.
For Golinello, going fast has never been so much fun.