Looking to Defend Last Year’s Race Win
A look back at Rum Bum Racing’s Rolex 24 Effort
*Rum Bum Racing will be guests of the Birmingham area Porsche Club of America during the event, with drivers Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi featured guests for a race-day Q&A and tech talk
Orlando, Fla. (1 April 2013) – With just over a month between Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2013 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship, Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing is ready to go at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend as the team is set to defend its 2012 victory at the track.
Looking to mount a vigorous defense of its 2012 GRAND-AM team title, Rum Bum Racing currently sits atop the championship standings heading into Round 3 after strong performances in the first two rounds.
The 2.3-mile, 17-turn scenic road course located in Birmingham, Alabama is one of the most technical tracks on the 2013 calendar, and drivers Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi are eager to return to race action.
Last year’s Barber victory came in the team’s first Porsche start after making the transition from BMW. Despite driving a brand new car with a nearly empty notebook, Plumb and Longhi showed that Rum Bum Racing preparation and team execution are second to none, no matter what the equipment is. The victory kicked off a string of wins for Rum Bum Racing as the team went on to claim five victories in 10 races on the way to securing the 2012 team championship title after taking a dramatic victory in the season-finale race at Lime Rock Park.
The team has delivered two strong performances in the first two rounds – scoring a second place result at Daytona International Speedway and a fourth place finish at Circuit of the Americas in GRAND-AM’s Texas debut. As the Rum Bum squad returns to Barber Motorsports Park, the team would like nothing more than to take a repeat win in Saturday’s 2.5-hour event.
“It is always great to come back to a track where you won the last year,” said Plumb. “Winning on debut with the Porsche was to me a great display of what this Rum Bum team is capable of. So far this year, we haven’t won a race, which is always the ambition, but with two races under our belts, we’re happy with where we are in the points. Every weekend, we know that we have to pull out as many points as possible and stay out of trouble. We saw that in Texas–some very strong championship contenders had issues. We just have to focus on our game plan and hope to have a little racing luck in there as well!”
Barber Motorsports Park tends to flatter the high horsepower V8s with its low speed corners and high-speed straights and due to the track’s technical layout, it’s all the more important for Longhi to qualify the Porsche machine toward the front of the nearly 60-car combined class grid.
“We’ve found that this car has a good race pace, but on a track like Barber you need a lot of grunt to pull out of the slower corners,” said Longhi. “So with our Porsche, the more track position we can earn in qualifying, the better we’ll be in the race as this car runs well out front. The big thing is keeping the nose clean and turning the car over ready to go in the final laps of the race. Barber can be a messy track for contact, so hopefully we can just stay out of trouble and be at the front when it counts.”
The weekend kicks off with a promoter test day on Wednesday with official practice on Thursday. Qualifying will take place on Friday at 11:15 AM (ET). The green flag is set to wave on the 2.5-hour race at 5:00 PM (ET) on Saturday.
Live timing and scoring can be followed at www.grand-am.com throughout the weekend. SPEED will televise the event Saturday, April 13 at 2:00 PM (ET).