Clutch this, Clutch that…
Walnut Creek, CA – After having brought out his new to him TransAM TA2 car last race for a shake down, Bob Accardo was ready to bring it during Round 5 and 6 of the 2022 United States Touring Car Championship supporting the NTT Indy Car Series finale at the Firestone Monterey GP here at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca.
During all practices, Bob Accardo ran his #29 car in the top three overall. However, struggled a bit with grip in general at first. A spin on a line of oil left by an ailing car in T4 resulted in Bob spinning the car around its axis, avoiding the gravel trap and the wall. A great escape! However, that spin also resulted in the main clutch cylinder being damaged and needing replacement. The Red Panther Motorsport team took on the repairs and got the car ready again. The replacement part worked, but wasn’t exactly the same as before.
Come Saturday and Round 5, Bob Accardo new that he had the work cut out for him. Struggling a bit with overall grip as well as continued clutch issues, he never really was able to challenge for the win. A second place finish was the result. But there was a plan for Sunday…
Crew Chief Chris Hovey suggested some set-up change that Gary Minnich and John Lothrop of Red Panther Motorsport went on to implement on the car. And come Sunday, Bob was able to blast off from the outside of the first row and take the lead! He had more grip available now, although the track was more slippery fron the previous Indy Car race. A great, close battle ensued for the first few laps of the race, providing the crowd with a great spectacle. Unfortunately, the clutch issues resumed and Bob had to let the competition pass for the race win. Two podiums out of two races whilst enhancing the championship lead is a great result for a double header weekend.
Bob Accardo reviews his Round FIVE and SIX performance:
“I felt like a kid in a candy store in the build up to this race weekend. So excited to support the NTT Indy Car Series finale at the Firestone Monterey GP at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. The car ran great and the Red Panther Motorsport team was again outstanding. Struggled a little bit for grip in Saturday’s race together with a clutch issue after a spin on an oil line in T4. Some set-up changes for Sunday provided more grip and a rocket start to challenge for the win. But the returning clutch issues stopped that and I had to settle for another 2nd place this weekend. But what an experience this was! Can we do this more often?”
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.