Duncan Ende looks for second win in a row at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Challenge
It was just a short two weeks ago that Duncan Ende, from Los Angeles, California and teammate Spencer Pumpelly celebrated victory for the first time in the 2011 American Le Mans Series when their no.66 TRG / Racer's Roast Porsche 911 GT3 Cup crossed the finish line first at The Grand Prix of Mosport. The race, which featured the most exciting finish seen this year in the GT-C class, was Ende's first victory of the season.
Starting in second, Ende battled throughout the opening hour with Tim Pappas, passing the Black Swan Porsche as the two Porsches dealt with traffic. After he established a lead that put the no. 66 Porsche solidly in the lead, Ende turned the car over to Pumpelly who handily led before he was spun around by a GT-class BMW, dropping the no. 66 car to fourth. Pumpelly, however, battled back in dramatic fashion to retake the class lead on the final lap, putting him and Ende on top of the podium.
"Mosport was such a rollercoaster," said Ende. "We lost our win at Lime Rock when we were held up by a GT car on the last lap, and it looked like we were going to lose the win again because of a GT car. Thankfully, Spencer had just enough time and just enough tires to get back to the lead on the last lap. Our crew on the 66 TRG car gave us a great car and we were finally able to get them a win."
Ende, who now has two wins and two second places finishes in his last five ALMS starts, is looking to add to that tally in Mid-Ohio. Ende has competed at the track numerous times, with a third in a Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race in 2009 and a fifth in the same race in 2010, both times at the wheel of a Porsche.
"Honestly, we were starting to wonder if things were going to go our way at all, so finally getting the win is kind of a relief but gives us a lot of momentum," said Ende. "Spencer and I have really been hitting our stride lately, and the guys have been giving us a great racecar everywhere we go. I'm sure they will give us another competitive car in Mid-Ohio and we'll be looking for another win."
Ende and Pumpelly are currently tied for second in the GT-C standings, rapidly gainign back ground lost to the leading Black Swan Porsche after they scored no points in Long Beach.