Pace in opening double-stint ensures victory for no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09
July 6, 2013 (Lakeville, Conn.) - Duncan Ende and teammate Bruno Junquiera scored their first American Le Mans Series win of the year at Saturday's American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
After starting the no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 from second position, Ende quickly assumed the lead of the Prototype Challenge class and began to build a substantial advantage over the rest of the PC field. At the end of the first stint, the RSR Racing team elected to keep Ende in the car for a double-stint in the high heat and humidity of the day. Ende's lead continued to grow - eventually lapping the entire PC field before turning the car over to Junquiera.
With the cushion of a lap, Junquiera brought the no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 home for the win at the end of the two hour and forty-five minute race. Ende and Junquiera led every lap of the PC race, and finished fifth in the overall standings.
The high heat and humidity of the race played a factor throughout the race, with cars and drivers struggling throughout the race. Ende had no troubles during his double-stint, which was a necessity because of the fuel mileage and drive-time rules at Lime Rock, thanks to extra time recently spent on his road bicycle.
"As the first driver you know that strategy will normally dictate that you have a short period of time behind the wheel, but today we knew I would be starting with a double stint," said Ende. "I was really thankful that I've been putting some extra time on my road bike, climbing a lot of hills in the hills around Los Angeles. It really helped me deal with the heat today."
This was also Ende's third straight American Le Mans Series podium at Lime Rock Park, a track that has been kind to him.
"Lime Rock Park is my kind of track," said Ende. "In ALMS I was second here in GT-C in 2011, third in PC last year, and we won this year. I also scored my first podium and win in Grand-Am at Lime Rock. This may be my favorite track."
Ende also competed in the Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader at Lime Rock, finishing fourth in Saturday's race and eighth in Sunday's race after his no. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services Audi R8 LMS sustained damage from another car.
Ende will compete in the next ALMS race, the Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport, July 19-21 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.