Ende and Dempsey Racing in the Hunt for Second Prototype Challenge Podium of the Year in Baltimore's Inner Harbor
(Los Angeles, Calif.) - Duncan Ende has mixed emotions about this weekend's Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT.
There is no denying that after only one year, the Grand Prix of Baltimore is a highlight on the America Le Mans Series schedule, with a large, excited crowd and an exceptionally good street circuit. The challenging layout provides for great racing and plenty of opportunities to overtake. However, like all street circuits, it is surrounded by unforgiving concrete walls - one of which Ende backed into during practice for last year's race. The resulting damage forced him to miss much of practice and qualifying, starting the race from the back of the field in a car repaired overnight.
This year, however, Ende plans for no such encounters with the concrete walls in his no. 25 Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing PC car, and is instead looking for his second podium of the year.
"I definitely don't want to do that again," said Ende. "Baltimore is an awesome event. The track is great and the crowd was fantastic. It was amazing how into the event they got even with all of the challenges that they had last season. But with limited track time it wasn't much fun to miss practice and qualifying fixing the car last year, and as a result we really struggled during the race. It's also a really good track for our Prototype Challenge car, and I think you'll see the PC cars racing very close to the faster P1 and P2 cars."
Ende arrives at Baltimore with an upswing in momentum after a stirring drive at the Road Race Showcase at Road America. During the opening stint of the race, Ende battled for third place and comfortably put the car in a position to take its second podium of the year. A problem in the pits later in the race, when the car would not restart after being taken over by teammate Henri Richard, meant that they would settle for fifth place.
"We've only been on a street circuit once in our PC car, at Long Beach, when all of practice was done in the rain and qualifying was abandoned," said Ende. "But apparently we will have a very warm and sunny weekend in the Inner Harbor. We won't know exactly what kind of car we will have until we hit the track for the first time, but I'm confident that our guys will give Henri and me a very fast PC car this weekend. But it's a street race, so no matter how perfect we get the aero and the suspension setup, the car will probably endure a fair bit of contact and come back looking anything but perfect!"
Source: Duncan Ende media