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San Ramon, CA – It is all coming fast and thick for the #53 and its driver Reto Baumann. This time around, for Round 7 at Buttonwillow, it was a totally new configuration Reto had never driven on. The last time this configuration was run, the car was successfully driven by Dave Brown to a Second-place finish.

FP1 was simply to get acclimatized to the track. It truly is a totally different one when running the configuration counterclockwise. Regardless of one knowing the corners. Some competitors showed their outright pace, turning lap times sub 2min. FP2 was a different story, Reto getting more used to the track and driving on the old tires. A 2:02min lap time was the best he could do, since there was a lot of traffic on the track as well.

Qualifying should have been a different story, Reto having driven well and competitive in FP2 on old tires, now having mounted a new set. However, in Qualifying the car seemed to be different. Not having the punch and speed it normally had. Besides that, traffic was horrendous, and no clean lap could be found. And when finally, having found a pocket, being able to push that lap for a good quali time, the engine had a big ‘pop’ entering the esses… Power was gone and Reto had to park the car on the infield.

Investigating the engine, it was found that we had some melted pistons. The exact cause of this is still to be determined. What a shame, since the car ran well in FP2 and there was a lot more speed in it and time to be found. However, that was the end of the race weekend for Reto and the #53 car.

Reto Baumann reviews his Round SEVEN performance:
“Not much to say here. The car ran well in FP1 and FP2. There was more time in it with me driving it better and getting to know this track configuration. Leaving Buttonwillow with no points to our name, hurts a lot since we would have been able to take over the second-place spot in the Championship. The car is being looked over and the engine repaired now, so that we will come back for the last Round at Thunderhill with a point to prove.”

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 and also like us on our social media channels.

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