Another one of those “We didn’t see this coming” stories. Rum Bum Racing and BMW have been synonymous when it comes to the CTSCC series. Their beautiful livery stands out quite a bit but the Rum Bum BMW M3 was always running in top spots in 2011.
Now we can admire them without hiding… Rum Bum will be moving to the Porsche Carrera for next weekends BMW Performance 200 at Barber Motorsport Park. In 2011, Rum Bum finished 7th in GS class. We will be traveling to Barber next weekend, so look for our coverage on the newest Porsche entry.
With six victories, 10 podium finishes and two seasons in the top five in points, Rum Bum Racing has set the bar very high in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.
Despite a much-envied record of success, the Florida-based organization is looking to be even more competitive, and next weekend’s Barber 200 at Barber Motorsports Park will see the squad debut a new Porsche Carrera in Round 2 of the 2012 championship.
Since first taking to the track in GRAND-AM competition, the Joe Varde-led team broke onto the scene with a remarkable run to victory at Daytona International Speedway in 2010 with Gian Luis Bacardi sharing the driving duties with Matt Plumb.
When Bacardi moved on to focus on his studies later in the season, Nick Longhi was drafted in to take to the controls of the unforgettably-liveried BMW M3. But no matter what the driving line up, the team was strong all season long, collecting three victories on the way to fifth in the championship. The huge late season surge also saw the team help BMW secure the GRAND-AM Manufacturer Championship.
In 2011, it was much the same as the team opened by winning at Daytona, showed strength all year long and once again played a key role in BMW securing the GRAND-AM Manufacturer Championship despite a series of bad-luck racing incidents that kept Rum Bum Racing from fighting for the Team Championship.
The move to the Porsche platform will see the team target more speed and points, and taps directly into the passion that is Rum Bum Racing, Luis Bacardi’s motorsports focus.
“We’ve had a great relationship with everyone at BMW and the M3 is a very capable machine -we know they will be hard to beat,” Plumb said. “But this is an exciting move for the team, and we are very optimistic about the potential that we see with this new Porsche.”
After opening the year with a run to fifth at Daytona, the timing was right for the group to make the switch.
“We started on the right foot with a solid run in Daytona, and now we just want to learn this car, get up to speed quickly, put ourselves in position to make up some ground in the championship, and get our momentum going,” said Plumb. “There were some races last year where we were dealt some pretty bad racing luck. There is only so much you can do to appease the racing gods of course, but we know that having a quick car and bringing home consistent, strong finishes is what is going to put us in position for the championship at Lime Rock. Hopefully this new Porsche will be a part of making that happen.”
The move to Porsche will see the group look to learn the new car as quickly as possible, a process that was started with some successful testing. SPEED will televise the Barber 200 event on April 8 at 12 p.m. (ET).
Photos: © 2012 Corey Beaman | oneighturbo.com