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The good, the bad and the ugly…

Walnut Creek, CA – The penultimate as well as the ultimate race of the 2022 United States Touring Car Championship was held at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, CA. With only a few points difference between the two leading cars, this was the Championship deciding weekend in the Touring Class (TC).

For the Saturday race, #52 Hyundai Genesis Coupe sponsored by Automotive Calibration Services and Gary’s Airbag Service had Dave Brown behind the wheel. It was a nailbiter from the get-go! Dave lost out on the start to Championship contender Gary Sheehan who drives the #31 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Ironically, the same car as the driver pairing of Dave Brown / Gary Trudeau are competing with. Dave really had his work cut out. He very swiftly passed another car that got in between him and leader Gary Sheehan. Then he went on the chase, trading fast lap after fast lap, finally catching up to P1 around mid-race. Dave saw an opening for the pass into T10 and went for it. It was a clear pass. But the other car turned in, taking the racing room away, and unfortunately contact was made. Dave was spun around, ending up in the dirt, whilst the other car was able to continue leading the race again. Dave didn’t give up, knowing that a race win would secure the Championship. He did lap after lap in the 1.57’s, finally catching the leader again, with two laps to the end of the race. Just then, the car stopped working… Dave recycled the software, restarting the car several times, but nothing would help. He was out of the race…

Post-race, the winning car was penalized with two grid spots for the contact with Dave in T10. This was some consolation, but it meant that whoever would place in front of the other car on Sunday, would also win the Championship…

Gary Trudeau took the wheel of the #52 Hyundai Genesis Coupe for warm-up and qualifying. But he never felt comfortable enough that day to race his fastest laps. Gary made a hard decision to let Dave Brown drive the ultimate Championship deciding race of the season, starting from P3. Gary Sheehan started from P1 and got a good get-away, putting some distance in between Dave Brown and Ali Arsham who also drives a #33 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, but with a lot less rewards weight. Once Dave Brown got passed Ali Arsham, leader Gary Sheehan had already pulled out several car lengths of an advantage. Whilst trying to catch up to P1, Dave Brown also had to defend against a charging Ali Arsham - all race long. It was a real battle for P2. But the combination of all this, meant that the advantage Gary Sheehan got on the first one or two laps, stayed the same until the checkered flag. And with that, the driver pairing of Dave Brown / Gary Trudeau unfortunately lost the Championship by a mere 5 pts.

It was a great season for Dave and Gary. Heart wrenching to lose by a sliver at the end of the season. Especially with how Saturday’s race ended, which could have been the Championship. This weekend really showed the good, the bad and the ugly of racing… But what a season it has been!

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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