Monterey, Calif. (2 May 2015) – Rum Bum Racing continued its positive start to the 2015 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship by taking a fourth place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Drivers Hugh and Matt Plumb opened the season with a victory at Daytona and then a podium result of third at Sebring, and Saturday’s fourth place finish brought in a healthy haul of points toward the team’s 2015 championship run.
While happy with the championship points collection, the team was left wanting more after a repeat trip to the podium was thwarted with some bad luck timing during the race’s four caution periods.
Hugh Plumb opened the race from fourth on the grid and wasted no time in making his way forward. He took over third position on the first lap and had moved into second within the first 20 minutes of the race. On a track that tends to suit the large-displacement V8s of the Camaros and Mustangs, Hugh Plumb put on quite a show by staying within tenths of the leading No. 9 Camaro during the opening run.
The No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche inherited the lead around the 1 hour 10 minute mark when the race leader took to pit lane. Hugh Plumb led until Rum Bum Racing Crew Chief Joe Varde called him to pit lane on the following lap for fuel, tires, and a driver change.
“My stint was very good,” said Hugh Plumb. “The car was well-balanced and I didn’t over use anything because I knew that the race would come to us. The Rum Bum guys gave me a great car to work with and it was fun to be back racing here at this beautiful track.”
Matt Plumb returned to the fray fourth in line and had a good run with the mix of cars at the front of the field as different fuel strategies played out. The team brought the No. 13 Porsche back to pit road to top off on fuel with just under an hour remaining and Plumb re-entered the track fifth in the order.
Shortly thereafter, Plumb reported the car felt a little bit off, but the veteran driver continued to run hard – swapping positions at the front of the field. And in the final stages, Matt Plumb made his way up to fourth and found himself not only chasing down the leaders, but also defending against the cars behind.
He was able to hang on for fourth at the checkered flag after 2.5-hours of hard racing.
“I’m happy for the fourth place points, but I know that these guys (Rum Bum Racing crew) are worth more than a fourth place finish today,” said Matt Plumb. “All in all it was a good day, but we always want more. The car felt good for the first 20 minutes of my stint but something went off after that and it just wasn’t handling the way we needed to. On our last pit stop we chose to not take tires, because the (leading) Stevenson car had pitted early and if it had gone green for remainder of the race, we would be too far behind. Everyone else we were running with there at the end was on fresh tires, so it was a fight to hang on for fourth. As always a big thanks to Luis Bacardi for giving us this opportunity and for all of the Rum Bum guys’ hard work this weekend.”
With three top-five finishes in the first three races of the season, Rum Bum Racing remains in good shape in the 2015 championship standings. The squad targets a return to the podium at the next race at Watkins Glen International which will be held June 25-27. The organization has finished on the podium at the upstate New York road course in each of the three previous IMSA events at the track and will look to make it four-in-a-row this year.
The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event will be televised on May 17 at 9:00 AM ET on FOX Sports 1.