Duncan Ende Enjoys Strong Testing Debut with Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing
Team finishes on top of LMPC class in series two-day test ahead of 12 Hours of Sebring
February 13, 2012 (Los Angeles, Calif.) - Eager to get the 2012 racing season started, Los Angeles-based Duncan Ende was on hand for the annual American Le Mans Series winter test, held last week at Sebring International Raceway. For the first time, Ende would sample the No. 25 Future Electronics / HP / STANDD.org Oreca FLM09 while sharing the track with several of the LMPC cars that Ende, along with co-driver Henri Richard, will battle for the class honors in the 60th Anniversary of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida.
The two-day test would provide plenty of opportunity for Ende to acquaint himself with the LMPC machinery, along with his new Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing team. A collaboration between Dempsey Racing, owned by actor/driver Patrick Dempsey, and Silicon Tech Racing, owned by ALMS race winner Henri Richard, the team enjoyed a successful first official ALMS series test. With Richard unavailable for the test due to a business commitment, Ende would split time in the No. 25 Future Electronics / HP / STANDD.org Oreca FLM09 with LMPC veterans Dane Cameron and Ryan Lewis.
The car's pace would prove strong from the moment the car hit the track, and it topped the LMPC class after the two day test. With the speed of the car not a worry, the team focused on long runs, with Ende tasked with wheeling the car through several full fuel stints to evaluate its performance ahead of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
"We had a very strong, and very productive, two-day test in Sebring," said Ende. "The LMPC class this year looks to be very competitive, with a lot of very strong teams and drivers, so it was important for us to get a strong start. Dane and Ryan have raced in LMPC in the past, so they were able to help me get acclimated to the car and really shorten our learning curve. I couldn't be happier with how things went for us at the test."
After several seasons of success in GT-class Porsche machinery, the move to the prototype ranks took some adjustment for Ende. Understanding the challenges and limitations of the GT-class cars was helpful for Ende, who finished runner-up in the 2011 ALMS GT-C class championship with three wins, as he transitioned to the faster, more powerful LMPC class.
"The first time running the LMPC car on track with traffic was interesting," said Ende. "I was able to spend a lot of time learning how our package interacts with the GT cars, as well as with the faster LMP1 and LMP2 cars. I took a lot away about how I need to work traffic most efficiently - I am very used to it in a GT car, but things are very different in an LMPC car. But thanks to everyone at Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing, our car was very strong and I have a lot of confidence ahead of the 12 Hours of Sebring next month."