Rum Bum Repeats At Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Matt Plumb and the No. 13 RumBum.com BMW M3 team opened the Grand Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season in victory lane for the second consecutive year Friday at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Plumb combined with co-driver Nick Longhi to win the Grand Am 200 under caution ahead of the No. 15 Ford Racing/Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302 co-driven by Scott Maxwell and Joe Foster.
Longhi started the race from the pole and led the opening nine laps before pitting under caution and turning over the controls to Plumb for the remainder of the event. Plumb led twice for 18 laps and staved off a hard-charging Maxwell over the closing laps before a full-course caution coming to the white flag preserved the victory.
Plumb won last year’s race with Gian Bacardi as his co-driver in the first race for the Orlando, Fla., based team.
“We had a pretty high goal in matching last year’s effort,” Plumb said. “Last year, it was a new team and a new co-driver. This year, we had the benefit of my friend Nick here in the car, who obviously is a veteran of the series, so it put us in a very good position and we felt good going into the race.”
It was the sixth CTSCC career victory for Plumb, who won three races last season. It was also the sixth victory for Longhi. It was also the third consecutive CTSCC victory for both drivers, who won the final two rounds of the 2010 season.
Foster and Maxwell were followed across the stripe by Paul Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen in third place in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3.
Just as the pole-winning car took the GS victory, the polesitting No. 171 APR/VW Driver Gear Volkswagen GTI for Ryan Ellis and Ian Baas won in Street Tuner.
It was the first career CTSCC victory for Ellis and the third for Baas, who also took the ST win in the 2010 finale at Miller. It was Baas’s second Grand Am victory at Daytona as he was a GT-class winner in the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
“The last few laps were absolutely crazy,” Baas said. “I was definitely driving a little bit in my mirrors waiting for some passing, but all this crazy stuff was happening in front of us and people were crashing.”
Andy Lally and Nic Jonsson gave Kia its first CTSCC podium with a second-place run in the No. 10 Kia Motors America Kia Forte Koup, and John Capestro-Dubets and Gregory Liefooghe completed the ST top three in the No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i.