Watkins Glen, N.Y. (27 June 2015) – Despite leading a race-high 26 laps, the hoped-for result that Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing was targeting on Saturday didn’t come at Watkins Glen in the Continental Tire 150 at The Glen.
The race began under light rain, with the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche leading the field just a few laps in. But as conditions worsened, the race was eventually red-flagged and the checkered flew under caution due to the large areas of standing water.
Those conditions made for some exciting IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge racing, especially in the early stages with Hugh Plumb opening the race from third on the grid. He wasted no time in moving forward and took over the race lead in a matter of laps.
The No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche carried the lead of the race into the team’s first pit stop when Crew Chief Joe Varde called Hugh Plumb to pit lane at just past the half-way point of the race. A quick stop by the Rum Bum crew of fuel, tires, and a driver change, saw Matt Plumb emerge back on track with the race lead over the No. 6 of Robin Liddell.
As conditions worsened, Plumb and Liddell battled for the point with Liddell just slipping by as Plumb remained on his bumper in second. The slippery track conditions caught the No. 13 Rum Bum Porsche out though, as the car slid wide in the Carousel. With two wheels on the slippery tarmac and two on the even more slippery grass, Plumb still managed to maintain control and avoid contact.
“We decided to change tires on the pit stop, which turned out to be a little tough for me in the first couple of laps,” said Matt Plumb. “Whether it was just getting them up to temperature or pressure or what, but it was a tough time. I couldn’t quite get into a rhythm and when I finally did, the race went yellow. I’m not quite sure what happened. I was in the outside lane, had great grip, and the (No. 6) Camaro underneath me got a little bit loose and I think I made some adjustments that got my car a little loose and walked it up to the edge of the track. I thought that I could get it straight once I went over the curb, but then it hooked me and I flip flopped back and forth in the grass and almost hit a wall.”
Fortunately, Plumb managed to keep the Porsche off the wall and returned to the track sixth, but his intention to move back to the top was halted when the race was red-flagged due to track conditions.
The race finished under full course caution and Rum Bum Racing took sixth at the checkered flag.
“I’m bummed for the team because they deserved a better finish than this,” added Matt Plumb. “I think we had a good car and had the race gone green and had we had a chance to fight with the Camaro we would have had a little something for them.”
“I had a good stint and it wasn’t raining as hard for me as it was for Matt (Plumb),” said Hugh Plumb, of his opening stint. “I had pretty clear visibility. I just kind of put my head down once I got out in front and got the most out of the Rum Bum Porsche. I just wanted to kind of continue to figure out the ever changing race track. That was the biggest hurdle. The car was good, the guys did a great job today.”
Rum Bum Racing will be back in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge action in two weeks at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The Watkins Glen event will be televised on FOX Sports 1 at 10:00 AM ET on Sunday, July 5.