Millville, N.J. (9 May 2012) – With three rounds of the 2012 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition already in the books, Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing rides a two-race win streak into south Jersey this weekend as the strong start has pushed Rum Bum Racing drivers Nick Longhi and Matt Plumb to the top of the team and driver championship standings.
The duo will pack their helmet bags and drivers suits for round four at New Jersey Motorsports Park with the confidence and momentum that comes with winning two races in a row–including a dominating victory in challenging conditions in the home race for team owner Luis Bacardi last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
As the team travels to NJMP this weekend for the B+ Heroes 200 presented by BCKSTGR and Round 4 of the 10-race championship, Rum Bum Racing will look to keep up that strong momentum, entering the event with 93 points to their credit.
The race weekend marks an anniversary of sorts, as the track was the spot where Plumb and Longhi first shared the driving duties with the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing machine back in 2010 after Gian Bacardi stepped away from his racing career to focus full-time on his studies. The Longhi-Plumb combination picked up right where young Bacardi left off, as Longhi and Plumb came home second in NJMP, and went on to win the final two races of the year.
NJMP also marks a bit of a home race for both Plumb and Longhi. Plumb grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania before settling in Rhode Island and Longhi is based just outside of New York City in Nyack. Longhi and Plumb have proven quick with both drivers having experience at the 14-turn Garden State circuit and Plumb holding the honor as the first driver ever to win a professional auto race at the track in 2008.
“New Jersey Motorsports Park is a challenging track, but I really like racing there and with the momentum we’ve built over the last few rounds, I think we have everything in place for another good run this weekend,” said Plumb, whose mother lives just one hour from New Jersey Motorsports Park and will be in attendance for the Mother’s Day weekend event. “The weight penalty is going to be tough for us. We need to do everything right, and just hit our marks perfectly to get the points we need to maintain our championship lead. The Rum Bum guys have given us a great car, every time out, so I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Rum Bum Racing has traditionally run well at the 2.25-mile New Jersey road course, and despite carrying 75 lbs of extra weight that GRAND-AM has added to the team’s Porsche entry to try to slow the well-prepared machine, will look to overcome that hindrance with another strong run.
“Certainly the weight penalty is a big one for us, but I think this team has shown–with the amazing job that they did with the move from BMW to Porsche–that it comes down to the preparation and the execution of everyone on this team,” said Longhi, who will also be playing host to family during the weekend. “It certainly will make our jobs harder, as weight effects everything that a car does–brake, accelerate, and change direction. But hopefully we can adapt quickly and come out of the weekend with another strong result.”
The event opens on Thursday with a promoter test day followed by official practice on Friday. Saturday will see a busy morning of practice and qualifying prior to the 3:15 PM (ET) start of the 2.5-hour race.
Live timing and scoring can be followed at www.grand-am.com. SPEED will broadcast the event on May 26 at 2:00 PM (ET).