top of page

Cruel Laguna Seca…

Walnut Creek, CA – The United States Touring Car Championship ran its Round 5 and 6 as the support series to the NTT Indy Car Series season finale during the Firestone Monterey GP at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Reto Baumann, driver of the #53 VW Jetta 2.0 GLI DSG was very much looking forward to racing at Laguna Seca. Preparation took countless of hours watching videos, studying the track and reviewing data, onboard and race videos. Last year, issues hampered the progress for Reto on this track. Hence, he was very much ready to set the record straight at a track that he loves driving on.

Friday Practice One, although only being several scrappy laps with lots of traffic, Reto was looking to get back into the rhythm of Laguna Seca. Running high as 6th in a field of 34 cars with old tires and predictive lap times nearly 1.7 seconds faster than what the clock showed at the end of the session. All good!

Everything looked like going to plan. Practice Session Two was then ended after 3 laps, having lost power. Worse, the engine made a sound that didn’t provide good vibes. Soon it showed that this was already the end of the four-day race weekend… A fuel injector failed resulted in a catastrophic engine failure. Two pistons done. A short-lived weekend.

The car remained on display with plenty of attention and disbelieve of spectators that would have loved, had wanted to see the car run on track.

Reto Baumann reviews his Round FIVE and SIX performance:
“Totally gutted. Lost for words. Don’t really know what to say. Lost third place in the Championship standings since not running either of the two races. I think I can deal with a lot. But this one was too much, having put in so much work and effort, with absolutely nothing to get in return. Total disbelieve. I must first gather myself after this huge blow.”

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.

bottom of page