"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up."-Vince Lombardi
Elkhart Lake, Wis. (22 June 2012) - After a tough start to the race weekend, Rum Bum Racing rallied to score a dramatic race victory at Road America as a huge crowd of Rum Bum Racing fans were on hand to take part in the podium celebrations after Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi combined for the team's third race win of the season. The race result was a sweet salvation for the team, having been in position to win the 2011 Road America event only to have their chance for the win cut short by yellow flags.
The Road America 200, which was added to the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series schedule in 2011, sees the highly competitive series staging a pivotal race on a track that most racers are hard pressed not to call their favorite.
And with a race that started in the light and raced into the darkness, the verdant natural surroundings set the stage for an exciting round six of the 2012 championship.
A test day on Wednesday saw the team experience a braking issue that sent the car off-track at the high-speed turn one. As the team visited the home state of Jennifer Bacardi and were determined to make the most out of the race weekend, that set back turned out to be a rallying point for the team. The Joe Varde-led squad pinpointed the issue and worked to find a new solution-and the way to victory lane.
Longhi opened the 2.5-hour race from third on the grid and immediately made his move forward as he slotted into second position in the first corner. He and the No. 01 of Lawson Aschenbach swapped positions for the lead as the small displacement Rum Bum Porsche shone in some sections of the track, with the Camaro reciprocating by making the most of its V8 power in others. Longhi eventually took the measure of the Camaro and moved to the lead before surrendering the point under a caution period pit stop.
"We got a good start," said Longhi "Once things settled down - Aschenbach in the Camaro - we were running together. I got a good run on him and got by him. It was good racing in terms of being respectful of each other and what we were trying to do. It was cool. And just the classic confrontation of why we love this kind of racing. We had the little smaller 911 Porsche with a smaller engine versus the big American car the 427s the Camaros and the Mustangs and it was exactly what you'd think - they were faster in some places and we were faster in some places. It was good. But after feeling like I hadn't got everything out of the car in qualifying, I was pretty motivated to get to the front so I wanted to turn the car over to Matt from the lead, but just had to bide my time and be smart about it."