The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is known for highly competitive racing and the 2015 season opening BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway Friday went far to maintain that reputation. Matt and brother Hugh Plumb secured the win in the BMW Performance 200. However it was Matt Plumb who brought the Rum Bum Porsche 911 across the line seven seconds clear of the Stevenson Camaros. The #13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche has now won three times at Daytona International Speedway.
“Last year we had a sensor on the motor go bad, and believe it or not, I thought I felt the same bobble today with 10 laps to go,” Matt Plumb said. “I started to freak out. It’s amazing how things start to feel when you’re going to win.”
With only three caution periods and the final 43 minutes run under green several front runners in both classes began to slow and run out of fuel. Robin Liddell finished second in the Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R started by Andrew Davis, 6.972 seconds behind. This was a huge improvement for the Stevenson team a year ago the No. 9 finished 54th at Daytona, six laps off the lead, while the No. 6 retired running just 38 of the 54 laps.
“We’ve not had the best of luck here at Daytona, so to get the year started like this is almost more than we could have hoped for,” team owner John Stevenson said. “And it didn’t come easy. We had to work through a lot of things that came up this weekend, but I’m terribly proud of the team effort. Of course, our drivers did an outstanding job today, so I’m really excited to start the year off like this.”
Lawson Aschenbach took third in Stevenson’s No.9 Camaro co-driven by Matt Bell. Defending Grand Sport (GS) champion Trent Hindman and Ashley Freiberg placed fourth in the Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3.
“Racing with Mr. Plumb was awesome, we had a great battle,” McGovern said. “But 20 minutes before the end she sputtered and I had to pit. We were done at that point. But today just shows what you can do when you get the right race car and the right team, you can make it happen. It’s amazing but disappointing. I’m happy we could show people today we could make it happen. Typically, we have more cautions, but not enough today.”
In the Street Tuner series first time series driver Luis Rodriguez Jr. joined veteran Spencer Pumpelly in taking the class victory in the Rennsport One Porsche Cayman RS1. The win was Pumpelly’s first at Daytona, and Rodriguez’s debuted with the win. Rennsport One was running 1-2 in the closing laps, with Adam Isman passing Pumpelly for the lead with two laps remaining but that lead was short lived as Isman ran out of fuel in the run to the checkered flag in the Cayman RS1 started by Jon Miller.
“What was shaping up to be an incredible finish unfortunately turned out to be a fuel mileage race,” Pumpelly said. “We’ll take the win. This is a great new team. Luis Jr. did a phenomenal job today – this was a pretty high pressure race for him. He’s got a great future ahead of him.”
Next up for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is the Sebring 200 at Sebring International Raceway on the 20th of March.
Thanks to Brent Smith Photography for the images from the BMW Performance 200.