Rum Bum Racing Thursday Wrap Up From VIR

Loose Bolt Gets in the Way of Rum Bum’s Progress

ALTON, Va, 12 May – Pre-testing for the GRAND-AM Continental Sports Car Challenge Bosch 200 at Virginia International Raceway turned out to be an exercise in frustration for the Rum Bum Racing squad, but the team will bounce back when it counts. Despite finishing the day among the fast 10, the No. 13 BMW M3 was a handful to drive on the twists, turns, ups and downs of VIR’s 3.27-mile natural terrain road course.

Drivers Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi, in collaboration with crew chief Joe Varde, worked meticulously through three hours of testing to overcome a handling deficit that made the M3 loose in the corners. Yet, their better efforts were stymied after each change, forcing the team to take the car back under the tent to track down the problem. Eventually, a damaged suspension nut causing the whole assembly to be loose was identified as the culprit. By the time the replacement and repair was effected, the day was essentially over, and as a result, the team’s bid to use the test day to dial in the car’s set up was lost.

“Better that this happened today, which doesn’t count for anything than tomorrow or Saturday when it really matters. Still we now find ourselves a bit behind on our plan, but it’s certainly not an insurmountable problem,” said Plumb, who grew up in Virginia.

A strong thunderstorm followed by periods of heavy rain dominated the last hour and half of the test. The weather pattern is expected to continue through the weekend meaning that racing in mixed conditions is inevitable.

“It would have been nice to run a few wet laps this afternoon to get a feel for the car under those conditions, but it’s not going to be significant issue for us,” said Longhi. “I’m glad that we’ve identified and solved the problem, and the fact that, all things considered, we were not horrifically off the pace means that we are not in panic mode. We know the car is fast here, so we’ll pick where we started off today and go from there to get back to where we should be.”

The Rum Bum squad will have 90 minutes to practice tomorrow split between two sessions before qualifying for the Bosch 200 gets underway at 4:20 EDT. Follow the action live at

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.

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