Rum Bum Racing finally got its second win in the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season, and first since the season opener in Daytona, following a mostly dominant run in Round 7 at Road America and then an excellent late race defense.
Outside of the pit stop sequence, both Hugh and Matt Plumb kept the No. 13 Porsche 911 at the front of the field and were never seriously threatened in green flag conditions, until the final 15 minutes.
Matt Plumb then had a significantly faster BJ Zacharias, in the No. 14 Doran Racing Nissan 370Z, hunt him down in the final stage of the race.
Zacharias was running anywhere from one to three tenths faster than Plumb but despite several attempts, was unable to make it past.
A final chance occurred at the last corner of the last lap when both GS leaders hit ST traffic. But Plumb strategically moved to the inside at Turn 14 to hold off Zacharias’ advances, by just 0.314 of a second.
The win is Matt Plumb’s 21st in the series, a new record that surpasses Sylvain Tremblay.
“It’s a great accomplishment and I’m proud of it, but the last five years I have been really, truly honored to be a part of this team. I couldn’t be happier to be in the position I’m in at the moment,” he said.
Still, Zacharias secured a season-best second place in the car he shared with Brad Jaeger. Zacharias made a Lap 51 pass of Trent Hindman for the second spot.
Hindman, who shared the rebuilt No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 with Ashley Freiberg, held off the second the Doran Nissan of past Nissan GT Academy winners Nic Hammann and Steven Doherty for the final podium position.
Hammann, the Elkhart Lake native in only his second series start, enjoyed a mid-race stint in the lead before the car fell back on its last pit stop, although Doherty was able to recover in his stint.
The points-leading No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R of Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell ended fifth in a frustrating day for the team. The sister No. 9 car had a jack fall down on a pit stop with Matt Bell driving, then Lawson Aschenbach had a fire in the car that forced him to stop at the Kink to cause the second full course caution with 45 minutes to go.
In ST, Ryan Eversley and Chad Gilsinger scored a last lap victory after Eversley’s friend and rival Spencer Pumpelly, in the No. 17 Rennsport One Porsche Cayman, ran out of fuel with just two corners to go in a cruel last lap heartbreak.
The top three of Pumpelly, Eversley and Eric Foss had pitted for the only time on slightly different laps. Pumpelly’s co-driver Luis Rodriguez Jr pitted the No. 17 Porsche Cayman first on Lap 23.
Pumpelly moved ahead once Eversley took over from Chad Gilsinger in the No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si on Lap 26, and once Foss succeeded Jeff Mosing in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman on Lap 27. Pumpelly almost made it home, but came up a fraction short.
It gave the win to Eversley and Gilsinger in the No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si, with the No. 44 CRG-I Do Borrow Honda Civic Si seizing the moment on the final lap to come a season-best second with Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler.
“It’s unbelievable this happened,” Eversley said. “I have so much praise and amdiraiton for Chad Gilsinger to go 18th to second in the first 40 minutes, making it look easiy out there!
“I had to get us a win or I wouldn’t be able to live it down. So much thanks to HART, HPD for letting us come play with race cars. I had my friend Drew Leathers on board this weekend.”
Foss and Mosing completed the podium in third, with the No. 81 Bimmerworld BMW 328i and No. 92 HART Honda completing the top five in the race.
In a tough day for the Mazda MX-5s, the 26 Freedom Autosport, No. 5 CJ Wilson Racing and No. 34 Alara Racing Mazdas ended sixth, eighth and 11th.
The season resumes at Virginia International Raceway in two weeks, on August 22.
RESULTS: CTSC at Road America