A post-qualifying penalty took away a pole position from Nick Longhi and co-driver Matt Plumb on Friday but the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche Carrera driving duo would not be denied again in Saturday's Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Kia 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The penalty sent Longhi to the rear of the 29-car Grand Sport (GS) class grid, but he carved his way through the field and comfortably into the top five by the end of his driving stint. Plumb picked up right where Longhi left off and finally found his way to the lead on lap 23 of the 82-lap race.
Plumb maintained the lead through a number of restarts and was never challenged en route a 2.031-second victory over David Empringham. It was the second consecutive victory for Plumb and Longhi, who also won last month at Barber Motorsports Park.
“It was a challenging day,” Plumb said. “We started in the back and had a rules infraction with our rear wing. The good news is that the Speedway has a lot of passing zones and we were blessed with a lot of rain to start with. These last two weekends, we keep getting the most incredible breaks that go our way.”
Empringham finished second in GS alongside co-driver John Farano in the No. 83 BGB Motorsports Porsche Carrera followed by Bret Spaude and Andrew Aquilante in the No. 35 Subaru of America Subaru WRX-STI. Plumb and Longhi lead co-drivers Charles Putman and Charles Espenlaub – who finished sixth in the Kia 200 – by 10 points, 93-83, after three of 10 races.
Ryan Ellis took the Street Tuner (ST) victory at Homestead last year in a Volkswagen and returned to victory lane again this year, this time alongside co-driver Martin Jensen in the No. 18 Nachine/i2i Capital/Escort BMW 128i.
“It's been a full season since my last race win,” Ellis said. “I was really fortunate to get my first win in my first two [CTSCC] races [last year], and it's just really, really good to be back.”
Pierre Kleinubing and Jayson Clunie finished second in ST in the No. 31 EMI/i-Moto/Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, followed by Rhett O'Doski and Miami's Andrew Carbonell, who took third in the No. 26 Mazda/SemperFiFund.org Mazda MX-5. Co-drivers Andy Lally and defending ST champion Nic Jonsson finished fourth and share the ST points lead by 12 points, 92-80, over Kleinubing and Clunie.