Luis Bacardi’s No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche will return to competition this weekend as the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series travels over 2,000 miles from the team’s Florida-based shop to Monterey, California for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda which marks Round 3 of the 2014 Championship.
Veteran Rum Bum Racing pilots Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi, who have won 13 IMSA races together, join forces in the No. 13 Porsche machine as Rum Bum Racing pursues its third consecutive IMSA championship title.
The team has shown strength at the 2.238-mile circuit which showcases 17 turns and extreme elevation changes through the natural northern California terrain including the famous ‘Corkscrew’ corner.
When the team debuted at the track in 2011, Plumb and Longhi finished on the podium with a run to third place. In 2012, the team nearly won the race, running second as the field headed to a final green flag. But a tough call from the officials on the final restart instead saw the team dispatched to pit lane before taking the checkered flag deep in the pack. Fortunately, the call wasn’t enough to derail the team on the way to the 2012 Championship.
Last year, the No. 13 car experienced a rare mechanical setback after a rock kicked up into the motor, tearing up the serpentine belt and slowing the effort. But some smart driving by Longhi (to recognize the issue and then coast the car back to the pits from the top of the corkscrew) and some outstanding effort from the Rum Bum Racing crew saw the team make repairs and return to the track.
While the setback meant a disappointing 16th place finish, the huge effort still brought precious points to the team on the way to an encore IMSA Championship.
“We’ve had some good days and some not so good days at Laguna,” reflected Plumb. “We don’t have all the muscle that some of the guys have for that long run up the hill to the Corkscrew. But, hopefully we can make that back a little bit on the back side of the track with some good handling. We’ve not yet got into a real rhythm with this championship and we just need to lock in a few solid finishes and build from there. The competition is incredible, but we are just focused on the fundamentals and fighting to get what we can out of each of these next few rounds.”
Rum Bum Racing hopes to achieve a second Laguna Seca podium result on Saturday in the 2.5-hour Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda which begins at 12:45 PM (PST) on Saturday.
Source. Sunday Group