Ende Ends Bell's Streak, Captures Pole for Monday's Grand Sport Race Duncan Ende ran a track record lap of 57.171 seconds (96.343 mph) midway through Saturday's qualifying session to capture the pole for Monday's Grand-Am KONI Sports Car...
Ende Ends Bell's Streak, Captures Pole for Monday's Grand Sport Race
Duncan Ende ran a track record lap of 57.171 seconds (96.343 mph) midway through Saturday's qualifying session to capture the pole for Monday's Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge race at Lime Rock Park.
Ende's first career pole - aboard the TRG No. 39 Digitrust Group/Adams Polishes/Racer's Roast Porsche 997 - ended Matt Bell's record pole-winning streak at three. Bell, driving the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M3, will start on the outside of the front row after running a lap of 57.227 seconds (96.248 mph).
Bryan Sellers will start third after running a lap of 57.380 seconds (95.990 mph) in the No. 77 Maxwell Paper Company Porsche 997. He will be joined on the second row by Jack Roush Jr., who timed at 57.633 (95.570 mph) in the Horsepower Ranch No. 61 Roush/Valvoline Ford Mustang GT.
Roush briefly held the pole early in the session, before being bumped off by Ende.
"I thought the pole time was maybe going to be a 57.3, and I got there," Ende said. "I was happy and somewhat confident, and then Matt Bell ripped off an awesome lap. I had to put my head down and really, really get to it."
After Ende ran his pole-winning lap, Bell, Sellers and Roush each came back with their fastest laps in the 15-minute session - only to fall short.
"Three poles in a row - and almost a fourth - isn't too bad," said Bell, who won poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway, New Jersey Motorsports Park and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was close, but obviously not close enough. We never seem to finish very well when we're on the pole, so this might be a change. Maybe we'll do amazing (now that his three-race pole winning streak is ended)."
Bell and co-driver Bill Auberlen won the opening race of the season, the Fresh From Florida 200, after starting third.
Ende and co-driver Spencer Pumpelly will be seeking their second victory of the season, after winning at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Sellers, co-driving with Daniel DiLeo, and Roush, co-driving with Hugh Plumb, are vying for their first victories this season.
Dean Martin and Ken Wilden, winners of the most recent KONI Challenge race at Mazda Raceway, will start seventh in the No. 59 RehagenRacingProducts.com Ford Mustang GT, while Homestead-Miami Speedway winners Peter Ludwig and Billy Johnson start fifth in the No. 18 Motorsports Technology Group Porsche 997.
Monday's schedule begins with practice at 10:15 a.m. The two and one half hour Lime Rock Classic 250 GS race takes the green flag at 2 p.m. Live timing and scoring will be available at www.grand-am.com. Updates will also be available at www.twitter.com/KONI_Challenge.
Next action for the KONI Challenge ST competitors will be June 5 at Watkins Glen International, in conjunction with the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.