Looking for win at Home, Rum Bum Scores Third Pole on the Trot

Rum Bum Scores Third Pole on the Trot in Home Race

Looks to grow championship points lead in round two

HOMESTEAD, Florida, 4 March 2011 – For the third successive race dating back to the 2010 season finale at Miller Motorsports Park, Nick Longhi has topped the time chart in the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing BMW M3 to win the pole. Friday, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Longhi scorched the 2.3 mile road course to record a time of 1:25.994 sec., earning the right to lead the 64-car field to the green flag for the GRAND-AM Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge – Kia 200.

Longhi secured the best time on his third lap, then immediately parked his Rum Bum Racing machine while others tried in vain to topple him. Several leading runners attempted a fourth, and even fifth, lap to come up with a better time, while Longhi remained in the car nonplussed.

“What can I say? Obviously the car is fantastic,” said Longhi. “Everybody says that, but it’s pretty clear at this point and it is also pretty clear that the Rum Bum Racing crew is just fantastic. We had some issues with an aftermarket part that caused some head scratching yesterday during the test. Joe Varde (crew chief) was calm cool and collected, but I wasn’t! This morning, they had a lot of work to do to replace the part, and really just go over every aspect of the car to make sure nothing was compromised. No one got nervous, they just plugged away to find the solution. I’m super happy for everyone at Rum Bum Racing, and especially, (team owner) Lou Bacardi. I cannot possibly be happier than I am right now. It’s a tribute to the team that we are in this position.”

When the GS Class cars lined up to qualify, Longhi pulled the No. 13 out of line to let most of the field go to give himself some space to run freely. Longhi knows the Continental Tires are capable of going fast from the first lap, and thus, the strategy was an attempt to run the first lap unhindered. Unfortunately, the session was stopped momentarily, forcing the field to return to the pits after only one lap. Longhi elected not to complete his opening lap, and instead, made for pit lane where he would be second in line when the field was released. The strategy worked, with Longhi needing only one full lap to get up to speed before setting the benchmark time.

“I have to say that the folks at Continental Tire have done an amazing job, because you leave the pit lane and you are just on. These tires are so good on the out lap,” said Longhi.

“This is just another example of Joe Varde and the rest of the crew tending to every little detail,” said co-driver Matt Plumb. “It’s those details that make the difference and are what put us on pole today. We’ll go into the race tomorrow with a very good set of tires and no one ahead of us, which will really be a benefit when it comes to track position after the first round of pit stops.”

The Kia 200 takes the green flag tomorrow at 4:15 PM EST, meaning the two and a half hour race will finish in darkness, adding a special element to the second race of the Continental Sports Car Challenge season. Follow all the action live at grand-am.com. The race broadcast airs March 19th, on SPEED.


Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
317.908.2975 (m)

Based in Indianapolis, Sunday Group Management is a leading motorsports management and communications consulting firm.

Sunday Group Management works with clients in a variety of motorsports categories, including NASCAR Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger, Riley Technologies, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series organization Michael Shank Racing, Continental Tire, and several teams and drivers in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.

For additional information: www.sundaymanagement.com, https://sundaygroupblog.wordpress.com, www.facebook.com/sundaygroup, or twitter.com/Sundaygroup

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