Daytona Beach – The No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche piloted by Nick Longhi and Matt Plumb will start from the sixth position in tomorrow’s GRAND-AM 200 event at Daytona International Speedway as the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series kicks off its 2013 season. And while fans of the championship-winning Rum Bum team might be more accustomed to seeing the No. 13 even closer to the front, the third row starting position doesn’t discourage the team from anticipating a strong run on Friday after the qualifying session was cut drastically short.

#13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997: Nick Longhi, Matt Plumb
#13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997: Nick Longhi, Matt Plumb

Photo by: Jackie Buys

When a black flag halted qualifying just minutes into the 15-minute session, the rest of the qualifying was cancelled. Fortunately, Longhi had made the most of his brief track time as he put the No. 13 Porsche on the outside of Row 3 for the start of the 2.5-hour race with a quick time of 1:57.639-seconds on just his second flying lap.

“The car’s great - Rum Bum prepared a great car,” said Longhi. “I can’t complain about anything with the car except we got slowed down a bit in RPM and that’s the result. But I was on a better lap, obviously as everybody else was, so I think the next lap was where you were going to see everything come out. I don’t think it was the pole but it was better than where we are in sixth. But we’re ready to go. It’s a long race, a great team. I’m actually very optimistic - it’s great fun to drive and the car is essentially perfect.”

The team marks its first appearance at the “World Center of Speed” with a Porsche machine after having run a BMW in the season-opening event in their previous three years of Continental Tire competition. Rum Bum Racing, whose shop is located just an hour from the Daytona circuit, has two wins and a fifth place finish at their home track event and would like nothing more than to add another victory to their ever-growing race win tally.

“I expect to win tomorrow because I always expect to win,” smiled Longhi. “I expect to win but it’s going to be little more difficult. It has to do with where the car makes its speed. Our car probably makes its speed through the preparation and the engineering of it from the team—so more on the infield for us. And now there are other cars that are faster down the straight, so we’ll figure out another way to do it.”

As the defending Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series team champions, Rum Bum Racing targets a return to the top of the standings with a strong run at Daytona.

The day also saw the Rum Bum Racing with Audi Sport customer racing No. 13 Audi R8 GRAND-AM make its Rolex Series debut at the famed Daytona facility. Markus Winkelhock posted a time of 1:48.865-seconds to start 16th among 34 GT cars in the twice around the clock endurance event on Saturday. The team has adapted quickly to the Rolex Sports Car Series, and will continue to bring its same attention to detail and thorough approach to preparation to the huge endurance test with the Rolex 24.

Rum Bum Racing