Let's review the weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Kia 200:
Forced to the back of the 27-car Grand Sport grid due to a technical infraction after winning the pole, Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi drove from last to first to win Saturday’s Kia 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was the second consecutive victory for the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche Carrera, with the team unbeaten since switching from a BMW M3.
Longhi drove to fourth position under rainy conditions. On his pit stop, the Rum Bum Racing crew got Plumb first out of the pits, and he needed only one lap to pass the cars that did not stop.
David Empringham finished second in the No. 83 BGB Motorsports Porsche Carrera started by John Farano, 2.031 seconds back, followed by Andrew Aquilante and pole sitter Bret Spaude in the No. 35 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru WRX-STI.
Martin Jensen prevailed in a back-and-forth battle to win in ST, driving the No. 18 Insight Racing BMW 128i started by 2011 Homestead winner Ryan Ellis. Pierre Kleinubing finished second in the Daytona-winning No. 31 i-MOTO Mazda Speed 3 started by Jayson Clunie. Jensen and Kleinubing swapped the lead seven times, with Jensen leading the final 18 laps.
Andrew Carbonell charged from seventh to third in the closing minutes to put the No. 26 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 started by Rhett O’Doski on the podium.
Kia 200: The Stats
GS 1st: Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi, No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche Carrera
GS 2nd: David Empringham and John Farano, No. 83 BGB Motorsports Porsche Carrera
GS 3rd: Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude, No. 35 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru SRX-STI
ST 1st: Martin Jensen and Ryan Ellis, No. 18 Insight Racing BMW 128i
ST 2nd: Pierre Kleinubing and Jayson Clunie, No. 31 i-MOTO Mazda Speed 3
ST 3rd: Andrew Carbonell and Rhett O’Doski, No. 26 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5
Margin of Victory: 2.031 seconds (overall); .086 seconds (ST)
Average Speed: 75.051 mph (overall); 73.863 mph (ST)
Cautions: Seven for 27 laps
GS: Nick Longhi/Matt Plumb, 93; Charles Espenlaub/Charles Putman, 83; Al Carter/Hugh Plumb, 81; David Empringham/John Farano, 79; Jack Roush Jr./Billy Johnson, 71.
Andy Lally/Nic Jonsson, 92; Jayson Clunie/Pierre Kleinubing, 78; Ray Mason/Ryan Eversley, 69; Gregory Liefooghe/David Levine and Glenn Bocchino, 65.
Ø Nick Longhi led Friday’s GS qualifying, breaking his own track record with a lap of 1:25.811 (96.491 mph). However, post-qualifying inspection revealed unapproved wing modifications and the time posted by the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche Carrera was disallowed. That moved Bret Spaude to the pole after he ran a track-record lap of 1:25.927 (96.361 mph) in the No. 35 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru WRX-STI.
Ø Coming off a second-place finish at Barber, the No. 55 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage blew its engine during the closing minutes of Friday’s opening practice. With no spare engine available, the car was out for the weekend. Scott Maxwell moved over to the team’s No. 71 entry, co-driving with Tonis Kasemets and Chris Dyson.
Ø Andrew Carbonell did not get much of an opportunity to relax prior to the race, as the 22-year-old Miami resident is finishing up final exams at Florida International University. He spent much of Friday evening studying, and then had a final in applied macroeconomics on Saturday morning. He went on to ace his on-track experience, driving from seventh to finish third in ST in the closing 30 minutes.
Ø With Taylor Hacquard recovering from serious injuries suffered when he was attacked near his home in British Columbia, Canada, Chip Herr took over in the No. 30 i-MOTO Mazda Speed 3 co-driven by team owner Glenn Bocchino. Hacquard is back home and is expected to make a full recovery. Several of the teams in both the Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge paddocks carried get well stickers provided by Steve Sanders of Lava Graphics.
Ø John Edwards was on hand in a support role with the Stevenson Motorsports team, but Robin Liddell substituted in the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro for the second consecutive event. Edwards is recovering from knee surgery following a skiing incident, and expects to return to action for the next event at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Ø The Kia 200 will be televised on SPEED on Saturday, May 12, at noon ET.
6 – Number of laps led by Tim Bell and George Richardson (three each) in the No. 6 Camaro
12 – Lead changes in ST
15 – Cars that finished on the lead lap
48 – Laps led by ST winners Martin Jensen (44) and Ryan Ellis (four)
57 – Race-high number of laps led by Matt Plumb
99 – Number of GRAND-AM podiums for Andy Lally (who finished fourth in ST)
90.313 – Speed in mph of Owen Trinkler’s fastest ST race lap
“It was certainly a challenging day. The qualifying infraction was not intentional and did not give us an advantage, but rules are rules. For the second straight race, the breaks went out way today. Nick got us to the front and we had great pit stops. We saved our car for the end. By then, everyone else had used their cars up.” Matt Plumb, No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche Carrera
“It sounds like a broken record – ‘teams win races’ but that’s the case for Rum Bum Racing. We switched cars and we still win races. We had a fantastic pit stop that got us out in the lead. Starting in the back could have been a problem, but this is such a fantastic race track with so many places to pass. Starting in the rain could not have been a better scenario for us, because we could take advantage mistakes to pick up a lot of places.” Nick Longhi, No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche Carrera
“It’s a honor standing in for Patrick Dempsey. I’ll do a lot better job on the race track than I would filling in for him on the set. I last raced in this series back in 2003 when it was the GRAND-AM Cup, driving with Darren Law with G&W Motorsports. It’s great to be back. There a lot of good buzz in the paddock, and a lot of really well prepared teams, with nice diversity of equipment. It’s nice to have 70 cars to work our way through. It’s been a great weekend.” Chris Dyson, No. 71 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage.
“Our Multimatic Ford Focus is certainly a work in progress. It’s a brand-new car, but we’ve been making gains at every race we’ve been at. We qualified seventh at Daytona, fifth at Barber and third here, so we’re getting a little better at every race.” James Gue, No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Focus.
“We’ve got a steep learning curve, moving from BMW to Aston Martin, but a lot of the stuff we’ve learned at Homestead will apply to everywhere we go. It’s like starting over. We’ve tried every spring we have on the car, along with sway bars and shock settings. Homestead is a big compromise track. We’ve also switched over to Motec electronics. We’ve got a lot of work ahead, but we’re happy with the car.” David Russell, Automatic Racing team manager.
“We were happy with second, but now we’re ecstatic with the pole. This is a testament to all the hard work by the team. Now we just want to do our thing – lead laps and try to win the race. This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.” Bret Spaude, No. 35 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru XRX-STI, after learning he was awarding the pole position after post-qualifying inspection.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge next visits New Jersey Motorsports Park for the running of the B+ Heroes 200 presented by BCKSTGR on Saturday, May 13.