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A Bad Start Recovery Drive

San Ramon, CA – Following her United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) debut in the Touring Car class last month at Sonoma Raceway, Marion Engelke drove to P3 at last weekend’s Round 3 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA in only her seventh wheel to wheel race (Still one more race to leave the Rookie status behind). This is Marion’s first podium finish in USTCC, and it was topped off appropriately with a thorough champagne dousing!
“What a great result considering the bad start I had… I clearly need to invest more time in practicing standing starts,” Marion comments. But once she left the starting line, the race was on, and she quickly recovered to chase her Teammate Gary Trudeau in the #52 and Gary Sheehan of Team in the #31 – both cars being Hyundai Genesis Coupes.
From her first outing at Auto Club Speedway, Marion improved her lap times every time she was out on track but drove her best time during the race: 1 minute 57 seconds. “The Hankook tires served me well, especially on the oval part of the track where your instinct tells you to lift, but you know you need to stay on the throttle and trust the car,” shares Marion.
Crew Chief Chris Hovey had prepped the 2003 Mitsubishi Evo VIII at Life’s Good Racing of Livermore, CA and was thrilled to see that the car ran smoothly all weekend. The investment in an oil AccuSump System clearly paid off on this banked track!
The “EleventyOne” as well as Marion also got a “treat” this weekend: a CoolBoxx and a CoolShirt. A welcome addition to beat the Californian heat! Car Chief Tim McGraw of Red Panther Motorsport ensured that the new cooling system worked properly, and everything around the car was ready before every session – all of which he observed with an eagle eye to spot any obstacles.
“Another great race weekend – not just for me, but everyone at Team RPM! The crew worked tirelessly to fix, polish, refill, adjust, tighten, invent… and all cars made it to podium-finishes. I can’t thank the team enough to make it out to Fontana, endure the heat, and put in all the hard work. Special thanks to our crew chief, Chris Hovey, my inspiring driver coach, Dave Brown, team manager and ingenious splitter designer, John Lothrop, car chief and spotter, Tim McGraw, and our hospitality team, Patricia Trudeau, and Karina Guerrero. Team RPM offers a wonderful community with delicious food, cold drinks, and welcoming company.”

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 and like us on our social media channels.

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