SCC: Utah: Rum Bum Racing race report

SCC: Utah: Rum Bum Racing race report
Sep 12, 2010, 3:36 PM

Rum Bum Racing Closes Season as it Began - With a Win "Rookie" team bookends season with wins and helps bring BMW the GRAND-AM Manufacturer Championship TOOELE, Utah, 11 September - Less than a year ago, Rum Bum Racing didn't really exist. But ...

Rum Bum Racing Closes Season as it Began - With a Win
"Rookie" team bookends season with wins and helps bring BMW the GRAND-AM Manufacturer Championship

TOOELE, Utah, 11 September - Less than a year ago, Rum Bum Racing didn't really exist.

But today at Miller Motorsports Park they are celebrating their third Continental Sports Car Challenge victory of the season and their second on the trot. The third win is also notable for the fact that it makes Rum Bum Racing the winningest GS Class team of 2010.

"I can't tell you how good it feels to be here," said Plumb speaking with the SPEED TV broadcast crew. "To end the year like this, looking back from where we began this crazy journey less than a year ago is very special. Everyone has worked so hard and it gives us such tremendous momentum heading into next year. Our plans haven't been determined as of yet, but one thing's for sure, we enter 2011 as winners."

Starting from the front row, the No. 13 Rum Bum BMW M3 driven by Nick Longhi for the opening stint, soon settled into a comfortable pace, shadowing the early race leader lap after lap. On lap 13, the first of several full course caution periods ensued and Longhi pitted along with the rest of the leaders.

"I had a good start and even had a run at the lead going into turn one, but I backed out of it because the risk wasn't worth it on the opening lap. From there, I settled into a comfortable pace. The car was running great and I was maintaining position without too much effort. My job was to get the car to the first stop undamaged and in good track position," said Longhi, who now has three podium appearances in three races to his credit.

Longhi performed his job to perfection handing the car over to Plumb while the crew performed a full fuel and tire service. Plumb rejoined in 15th place and began clawing his way back to the front.

Gaining one to two places nearly every lap, he was back up to fourth place by lap 31 when the second full course caution was declared. A quick pit stop for fuel-only ensured he could run the distance. When the race resumed, Plumb had dropped to seventh place, and was on the charge again.

With an hour remaining, the No.13 BMW M3 was slotted into second place, 12 seconds down on the race lead, which he would inherit when the third full course caution occurred. On the next restart, Plumb was a bit of sitting duck and fellow BMW driver Joey Hand was able to pass for the lead in turn 1. But, only two laps later, Plumb showed his determination to take to the top step and retook the point once again in turn 1.

But the battle was far from over, as the No. 61 Roush machine was giving chase; however, Plumb was able to extend his advantage growing it to as much as 3.6 seconds with only 14 minutes remaining when caution period number four dissipated his lead.

The green flew for the final time with nine minutes left in the balance. The Roush Mustang and Hand's BMW were breathing down Plumb's neck, but despite the constant pressure, Plumb would not bend. The Rum Bum BMW streaked across the finish line 0.069 seconds to the good to close the year out on the highest possible note.

"The Mustang was coming strong there in the end and going into turn 1 those last few laps, I couldn't see since the sun was setting right in front of me. At one point, my spotter had to tell me when to brake. To make matters worse there was no grip, it was almost like a rain race. Fortunately I was able to stay ahead of the Mustang and at one point he made a small mistake and it was enough to relieve a bit of the pressure. It feels great to win, but I can't lie, I'm tired!" said Plumb. "Thanks to Joe Varde, and all the incredibly talented people who make Rum Bum Racing so strong. It is a shame Luis Bacardi isn't here to celebrate with us tonight like he was in Trois Rivieres because his support is incredible and it shows with days like today!"

Thus, Rum Bum Racing team, with drivers Matt Plumb, Gianluis Bacardi and Nick Longhi and led by crew chief Joe Varde, wraps the 2010 season with three wins plus two additional podiums to finish fifth overall in the final team standings. The win marks the fourth of ten races where Rum Bum Racing brought BMW the maximum points and contributed to the mark taking the 2010 Manufacturer Championship.

-source: rum bum racing

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Joey Hand , Nick Longhi , Joe Varde , Matt Plumb , Gian Bacardi
Teams Rum Bum Racing
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