Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge News
Plumb, Bacardi Give Rum Bum Racing Win in Season Opener
Jan. 29, 2010
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Matt Plumb pitted during a caution late in Friday's Fresh From Florida 200, and watched out his windows as the rest of the field flashed by down the main straightaway. That decision, however, proved to be the right one, as Plumb took series debutants Gianluis Bacardi and Rum Bum Racing to Gatorade Victory Lane.
Plumb took command of the race from Charles Espenlaub on Lap 64 of 66 and sprinted to a 0.107-second advantage over Espenlaub in the two-and-a-half hour event. It proved to be fresh tires on Plumb's No. 13 RumBum.com BMW M3 E92 that made the difference, as he shaved off several seconds after falling to sixth after pitting.
In Street Tuner, Lawson Aschenbach made it two consecutive victories for himself, putting Compass360 Racing back in winner's circle at Daytona for the first time since 2007. Aschenbach passed Jameson Riley to give himself and No. 74 HPD/Skunk2 Honda Civic Si co-driver David Thilenius the victory. Following Aschenbach, 1.771 seconds behind, was Seth Thomas in the No. 81 BimmerWorld/GearWrench BMW 328i, sharing the car with Bill Heumann. The car was damaged in the first of three practice days at Daytona earlier in the month, and was completely rebuilt. The runner-up finish signified the depth of one of the series' newest teams.
"The BimmerWorld crew, unfortunately, we've had our share of hiccups like that in the past," Thomas said. "That's one of the things that makes them one of the best crews out there. They're able to take a car that's pretty smashed up and turn it into a podium finisher. My hats off to those guys. They worked hard to put us here."
Third were Andrew Carbonell and Rhett O'Doski in the No. 26 Freedom/Mazdaspeed Mazda MX-5; Carbonell finished fourth in points a season ago, while O'Doski missed last year's Fresh From Florida 200 after a practice incident. However, the pair, team and Mazda lost five points each after the car was deemed underweight during post-race technical inspection. Aschenbach and Thilenius were not the lone Compass360 co-drivers in the top five. Brothers Benoit and Donald Theetge finished fourth in the No. 77 HPD/Skunk2 Honda Civic Si, while Ryan Eversley and Zach Lutz were fifth in the No. 75 HPD/Skunk2 Honda Civic Si. Both Donald Theetge and Lutz were making their first career series starts.
The GS race featured the first-ever finish in the series for the Dodge Challenger, as well as the Subaru WRX STI, and the return of the Audi S4. Defending series champion Ken Wilden and co-driver Andrew Caddell finished ninth in the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Products Ford Mustang GT, extending the team's top-10 streak to 18 consecutive races.
Four caution periods for 15 laps slowed the race's average speed to 93.455 mph.
The second race of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge comes March 6 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, running in conjunction with the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16.
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