Dempsey Racing Crew Races to make Start, then Richard and Ende race to Third Place
September 2, 2012 (Baltimore, Md) - Duncan Ende, and his teammate Henri Richard, drove to their second podium of the 2012 American Le Mans Series in the no. 25 Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing Prototype Challenge car at the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge on Saturday evening.
Before Ende could drive the car to the finish and to the podium, the Dempsey Racing crew was in a different kind of race after Richard had an incident during Saturday morning practice. With a large amount of damage and minimal time, the crew worked a minor miracle to have the car on the grid for the start of the two-hour race.
Starting seventh in the PC class, Richard - who started the race after Ende qualified - was caught up in the first-turn, first-lap crash that saw several cars make contact. Despite being hit very hard by a GT-class car, Richard emerged from the mess in third place but with a wounded car. While he fell to fifth, the Dempsey Racing team would extend Richard's stint well past the one-hour mark, meaning that when the team did pit the no. 25 Dempsey/Silicon Tech Racing PC car, Ende would emerge in third place. Losing a lap due to the wave-by procedure under caution, Ende was essentially on an island - a lap down to the leading cars and laps ahead of the fourth-placed car - so he simply focused on staying away from the titanic battle for the GT lead and bringing the car home on the podium.
"Well let's be honest, I was spectacularly disappointed in qualifying so I am ecstatic with getting on the podium," said Ende. "Friday was a total low and today is a real high. Our only race plan was 'Don't Crash', and we stuck to it! Even though Henri got hit really hard by that BMW at the start, it basically just pushed him through the field and worked out pretty well for us, even if it really hurt the car. He did a great job running up to second place after that contact. The car definitely wasn't at 100% when I got into it, but since we had a gap on fourth and got stuck a lap down to first and second, I just tried to keep it out of the fence and get it home."
Ende and Richard scored their first podium of the year at the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 7th, but standing on the podium in front of the massive Baltimore crowd was a thrill for Ende.
"I had such a miserable weekend here last year, and considering how things went yesterday, this is amazing," said Ende. "We just weren't even in the ballpark yesterday. I'm not even sure what was wrong but we weren't even close. The car started much better today but because of the damage from Henri getting hit, it definitely wasn't 100% when I got into it. But all the Dempsey Racing guys are heroes. They were really thrashing to get us out on the grid in time for the race and they gave us a car that took a huge hit and took us to the podium."
Source: Duncan Ende media