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Just not this weekend…

San Ramon, CA – After having had issues the last two races, much effort was put into getting everything sorted out with the #53 VW Jetta 2.0 GLI DSG for Reto Baumann. Several trips to the dyno to fine tune the tuning, addressing the turbo hose clamps that had let us down in the past.

All started off well, with Reto Baumann taking FP1 to acclimatize to the track and the new tune. Half-way through FP2 to start putting some pace into the car and attacking the track slowly, resulting in very competitive times, pretty much where we had been at when we came to Laguna Seca for the first time. We knew there was more in the car and driver and were looking to extract the last bits for Qualifying 1.

After two warm-up laps, the car started to lose power and Reto was never able to get to the times he had run earlier in the day, whilst all competitors improved their times. Data showed some inconsistencies, but nothing clear was found on the car, despite thoroughly checking it. This continued into Saturday and Qualifying 2.

Race 1 (USTCC Round 5) then brought the issue to light. An exhaust clamp broke in the middle, allowing hot air to pass and melt the brake power vacuum line shut, so that Reto suddenly had no brake going into T5… A scary moment and lucky to bring the car back in one piece unharmed by that incident. This also explained part of the power loss and data inconsistencies.

Race 2 (USTCC Round 6) in front of all the Indy Car fans that came out to Laguna Seca, and the day was no different to the ones before. Even funkier data, over boost issues and other related problems and the car was, simply speaking, not competitive. At least Reto was able to finish the race, albeit he surely wanted to be a lot more competitive than what the car allowed this weekend.

Reto Baumann reviews his Round FIVE & SIX performance:
“From a team’s perspective, it was a fantastic weekend supporting the NTT Indy Car Series. Multiple podium finishes, just not one for me. To say the least, It gets frustrating dealing with the issues, since we had thought to have alleviated all, had tested, tuned and more to be ready for this important double header. With a proper performing car, there was a lot more to get out from this weekend than what we did. And knowing that the data shows how well you drove, but didn’t have the car to support that, simply hurts. As it is, we said it before and have to say it again: Back to the drawing board and to get these things sorted out once and for all!”

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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