SCC: Homestead: Rum Bum Racing preview

Rum Bum Racing Aiming For Second Consecutive Win Florida-based squad relishing chance to race in South Florida for round 2... HOMESTEAD, Fla., 2 March -- Florida's own Rum Bum Racing is one for one this season. In fact, the team, which was...

Rum Bum Racing Aiming For Second Consecutive Win
Florida-based squad relishing chance to race in South Florida for round 2...

HOMESTEAD, Fla., 2 March -- Florida's own Rum Bum Racing is one for one this season. In fact, the team, which was formed only a few short months before the Grand- AM Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge season opener at Daytona International Speedway, could retire with a perfect record.

But with Miami native Gianluis Bacardi and Matt Plumb of Newport, Rhode Island behind the wheel, and Joe Varde calling the shots from the pit wall, the team has no intention of slowing down after taking a thrilling win in their first ever race under the Rum Bum Racing banner in GRAND-AM competition.

Now, heading into South Florida's Homestead Miami Speedway for round 2, Bacardi, Plumb and Varde are looking to pick up where they left off. One new challenge for the event is the fact that beyond the nearly 80 other cars that will be sharing the 2.3-mile track, there will be one additional factor to overcome this time around.

Rum Bum Racing fields the current generation of BMW's M3 in the GS class, known as the "E92." The team brought the machine its first-ever Continental Tires race win with its triumph at Daytona. But following the Daytona success, Grand-Am officials in their never-ending quest to keep the playing field level, determined that the M3s need to be reigned in a touch. So, the team, along with other M3 squads, will be running a restricted car for the foreseeable future. Yet it may not matter, for while the M3 is a potent weapon, the secret to Rum Bum Racing's Daytona success was as much the result of skilled driving and excellent pit strategy.

Enter Bacardi. At only 20 years old, he is among the youngest in the Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge field, but he showed a high level of maturity in his debut race. Starting from 19th, he worked his way through the field to turn the car over to his co-driver and coach Plumb in podium position.

Enter Plumb. The veteran campaigner, who also wears the team manager hat in addition to driver and coach, was soon nipping at the leader's heels in the 2.5-hour race before moving to the front and sealing the deal.

Enter Varde. The long time master tactician and engineer for production car-based racing made the call to change only right side tires in the final stop. It was a quick stop, and more importantly the No. 13 machine, under Plumb's command was even quicker.

Like Daytona, Homestead Miami Speedway uses an infield road course along with parts of the oval track. At a mile shorter than Daytona, traffic management and an ability to read the race as it develops will be key. Plumb and Varde's experience will be invaluable in exploiting Bacardi's natural speed. Plumb, who has been guiding Bacardi's entry and development in the sport from the start for more than a year, belying the fact that this rookie team is made up of numerous mature components.

"It was kind of an unreal experience to go out and win our very first race," said Bacardi. "But it finally sunk in and we celebrated that night! Now everything starts over again this weekend but I'm really looking forward to it. I've spent a lot of time in Miami, and my family will all be there for the weekend so it should be fun. I just have to focus on doing the same thing I did at Daytona and put the car in a good position for Matt to take it to the finish. I've got some experience at Homestead so I'm just looking forward to getting everything started this weekend."

Experience and speed make for a potent combination, one that Rum Bum Racing believes will continue to yield results. A second Florida win for the home state team will prove that Daytona wasn't simply beginner's luck, but a forerunner of things to come.

"We knew that we had all the pieces in place for a strong run before we got to Daytona, but to have it all come together the way that it did was still kind of amazing," said Plumb. "The team put so much work into getting ready for that race, so it was the perfect way to pay back those efforts with a win. Now we've got to just go out and take this momentum with us at Homestead. We know that we'll be fighting the Mustangs and Camaros even closer now with this restrictor we are running, but we will just look to get as much as we can out of the weekend. The championship is ten rounds long, and we want to keep our focus on that."

News & Notes

- Plumb's win at Daytona marks his fifth in GRAND-AM Continental Tires Challenge competition. He was the ST class championship runner-up in 2006.

- The No. 13 Rum Bum Racing BMW M3 will be on display in Miami Beach at Monty's Stone Crabs on Wednesday evening, March 3.

-source: rum bum racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Joe Varde , Matt Plumb , Gian Bacardi
Teams Rum Bum Racing