Championship chase is on for Ende in Baltimore
August 29, 2011 (Los Angeles, Calif.) - Three races remain in the 2011 American Le Mans Series. For Duncan Ende, that means there are three opportunities to claw back the ten-point deficit that he and co-driver Spencer Pumpelly have in the GT-C class championship to Black Swan Racing's Tim Pappas.
This weekend's Baltimore Grand Prix will be a true team effort. As this is the first running of the Baltimore Grand Prix, Ende's TRG team will be learning new lessons with each passing lap about how to make the no. 66 TRG / Racer's Roast Porsche 911 GT3 Cup go fast around the twelve-turn circuit in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
At the one other temporary street circuit on the ALMS calendar, at the Long Beach Grand Prix, Ende was eliminated in a first-turn, first-lap crash that sent the no. 66 TRG / Racer's Roast Porsche to the pits for extensive repairs. Unable to show his hand in Long Beach, Ende is eager to face the challenges of Baltimore.
"I really enjoy racing on street circuits, so it was really disappointing to get taken out of Long Beach," said Ende. "We had qualified well and the car was going to be really good for the race. It was also our home race which made things even worse. I'm really happy with how things have gone and I know our TRG guys will give Spence and me a great car in Baltimore. It may be a brand-new circuit but these guys have so much experience with these Porsches that I know we'll be competitive from the first practice."
Ende and Pumpelly have scored five podium finishes in six American Le Mans Series race this year, with wins at Mosport and Mid-Ohio. However, they remain second in the GT-C class championship, and their goal, as ever, is to win in Baltimore to secure as many championship points as they can.
"No doubt, with only three races left we need to be as aggressive as ever," said Ende. "We haven't exactly been cruising around to collect points, but we can't afford to let up. The Black Swan guys are always very fast and the only way to win the championship will be to finish ahead of them. We are definitely up to the challenge and the fans will be in for a great race!"