Extending the Championship lead…
San Ramon, CA – Rob Harper brought back his much beloved #28 Chevy Corvette race car for the double header rounds at Laguna Seca in support of the NTT Indy Car Series and the Firestone GP of Monterrey. Leading the Championship, the goals were clear: finish both races and to extend the Championship lead.
The car was prepared by Bidwell Automotive of Sacramento, CA and was well set up for the track and the conditions of this race weekend. Fast lap times set in all free practices and lots of fun driving the car for Rob Harper, until the 1st qualifier which resulted in a blown differential. Sourcing a salvaged part out of Sacramento, CA. the RPM crew set out to replace the broken differential in a repair effort that took most of that evening, and into the morning hours of the Saturday events.
Race 1 (USTCC Round 5) with no qualifying time from the previous day, Rob started in the 15th spot and had to work his way through the entire field. With determination and a sense of urgency, Rob squeezed every bit of performance out of the Corvette to catch the 3rd place contender. An epic battle ensued with teammate Beau Borders in the final laps, but stress on the engine proved too much and oil began pouring on the windshield, ending the fight with a 4th place in class.
The RPM crew made additional repairs and finally, the car looked the part on track during Race 2 (USTCC Round 6) and was loved by many of the thousands of spectator’s trackside. With a better starting position at P8, Rob was able to drive the car onto the podium with a second-place finish.
A fourth and a second-place finish helped Rob to further his GT Class Championship lead, looking ahead to the next race at Buttonwillow in October and a double point endurance race in November at Thunderhill.
Rob Harper reviews his Round FIVE & SIX performance:
“What an incredible weekend! This team has proven time & again that we will overcome all obstacles thrown in front of us. Bidwelll found a salvaged part from an automatic car in Sacramento and delivered it to us trackside. We had to get used to some very funky gearing but ultimately had the drive of our life, passing all the way up to the lead cars in both races. A couple ill-timed caution events in round 6 made catching the lead car nearly impossible but we are thrilled to have come out with a 2nd place overall. It was just awesome to see so many friends and family come out to support us and I can’t thank enough, the teamwork that resulted in getting this car back onto the podium, where it belongs.”
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. For more information, please see and visit www.RedPantherMotorsport.com and also like us on our social media channels.