Walnut Creek, CA – The United States Touring Car Championship Rounds 5 and 6 took place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Participating as a support group for the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES, USTCC drivers enjoyed the attention of the large crowds and the opportunity to engage with many car enthusiasts!
It was a long weekend with practice sessions and qualifying on Friday, and then a warm-up and race on each, Saturday and Sunday. The weather was unseasonably hot and intensified the general challenges of the track, which could be described as greasy and low grip.
For Marion Engelke, the weekend yielded her first race without rookie status on Saturday, and continuous improvement in her personal best times from 1 min 55’s down to 1 min 48’s. Her 2003 Mitsubishi Evo VIII performed beautifully and ran without any major incidents – the broken belt tensioner and damaged starter unit that cut short her last race in Round 4 were expertly repaired by crew chief Chris Hovey at Life Is Good Racing. Due to the limited Hankook tire contingent for the TC class, Marion ran on the same tires used for the last weekend, which would be considered “old” by the time of the Sunday race.
“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this event especially,” shared Marion. “My thanks go out to Red Panther Motorsport and car chief Tim McGraw, for their incredible support at the track! It was fantastic to race with the TC group leaders, Dave Brown and Gary Trudeau at Red Panther Motorsport, as well as Gary Sheehan and Larry Bani. I know I still have much to learn, and I’m proud of the improvements I was able to achieve this weekend!”
Marion drove to 5th place in the TC group on Saturday and moved up one spot to finish 4th in TC on Sunday.
About Red Panther Motorsport (RPM)
A leading California based professional racing team. RPM competes in the Hankook Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) race series and has won multiple class Championships. For more information, please see and visit www.RedPantherMotorsport.com and like us on our social media channels.