Two Podiums on the Trot as Rum Bum Racing moves up to Second in Team Title Pursuit

Two Podiums on the Trot as Rum Bum Racing moves up to Second in Team Title Pursuit

MONTEREY, Ca., 9 July – Rum Bum Racing scored their second consecutive podium finish, and fourth of the season, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda, round 8 of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Matt Plumb took over early from co-driver Nick Longhi to drive the No.13 Rum Bum Racing BMW M3 to third place, just over two seconds short of the race win.

“This was a successful weekend for us. Our focus is on the team championship and today’s points made a big impression on that,” said Plumb who despite preferring a win, was clearly satisfied with the significant haul of points that sees Rum Bum Racing claw back 10 points on the lead and move from fourth overall into a tie for second place.

“The Camaro (of race winners Matt Bell and John Edwards) was just stretching away from us like it has been doing for the past several races,” Plumb continued. “It was a huge points day for us, and that was definitely on my mind today in the car.”

At the last race at Road America, Longhi swapped places with Plumb barely 20 minutes into the race when an early caution period created the perfect opportunity for the Rum Bum squad to work their strategic magic.

When asked about the early driver change and giving up his driver points, Longhi stated emphatically that his role was to do whatever the team asked in the quest for race victory and the team championship.

Today, at Laguna Seca, Longhi started the race from the ninth position, and when the first caution period erupted a mere lap and a half into the two and a half hour race, Longhi dove for the pits while everyone else stayed out on track. He handed over to Plumb during which the Rum Bum crew topped the M3 with fuel and off they went looking to convert the gamble into a strategic advantage later in the race.

“That might be a record for the shortest driving stint ever,” smiled Longhi after getting out of the car. “Now, we need this race to go green (flag racing) as much as possible. With the driver change out of the way, and our fuel topped up, we can run a pair of laps longer than the rest, but more importantly, our next stop will be several seconds faster.”

Longhi wasn’t overly disappointed to get out of the car so early when he let it be known afterwards that he was suffering from a mild sinus infection resulting in a dull headache that was hampering his efforts throughout the weekend.

With all but roughly 10 minutes of the race past, Plumb was faced with driving essentially the whole race, a fact that hardly fazed neither him nor the Rum Bum crew.

From 27th place after the driver change, Plumb hustled the No. 13 M3 through the field, needing only 14 laps to crack into the top 10.

On lap 19, the race was again under the control of the pace car, and everyone, including Plumb, made their way into the pits. Here is where the early stop strategy would make a big payoff. Pitting from ninth place, Plumb needed a shorter fuel fill and without the driver change, it allowed for a much faster stop than the rest of his rivals. Consequently, when racing resumed Plumb had risen to fifth place.

Throughout the middle portion of the race, Plumb held steady in fifth position. Following the final stop for fuel and tires, the No. 13 Rum Bum machine had moved up to third place for the final 40 minutes of the race.

Thereafter, the top three cars circulated, lap-upon-lap, with hardly a shadow between them. However, it became a stalemate of speed as Plumb and the second place car could hold the leader in their sights, but could neither pass.

“It was a long stint, and towards the end we definitely had the oldest tires of anyone around us,” Plumb added. “So, I didn’t really have anything for the leaders to challenge them. I could have a run at them on the restarts, but from there, they just had too much speed for me to make an impression. But this was a successful weekend for us, right on target for our goals so thanks to the huge effort from the team, and now we’ll look to do the same again in a couple of weeks.”

From the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge moves to the Jersey Shore for the penultimate round of the series at New Jersey Motorsports Park on July 23rd. The Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda airs on SPEED July 17th at 1:00 PM EDT.

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www.rumbumracing.com
You can also follow the team here: www.facebook.com/rumbumracing

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Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
media
http://www.sundaymanagement.com
317.908.2975 (m)

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

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