TRG's Ende and Pumpelly finish second in KONI Challenge GS race at Lime Rock Park-strong showing from Schroeder and Ludwig LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 26, 2008) - TRG drivers Duncan Ende and Spencer TRG 39 GS Lime Rock finish Pumpelly earned their...
TRG's Ende and Pumpelly finish second in KONI Challenge GS race at Lime Rock Park-strong showing from Schroeder and Ludwig
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 26, 2008) - TRG drivers Duncan Ende and Spencer TRG 39 GS Lime Rock finish Pumpelly earned their first podium finish of the 2008 Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series season today finishing second in the GS race at Lime Rock Park.
Ende started 13th in the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Fox River Coffee/Sherab Khandro.com Porsche 997 and quickly fell six positions at the start due to getting caught behind a slower car. But, as the field began to spread out, Ende began picking up positions and even had the No. 39 machine in the top-10 before handing it over to co-driver Pumpelly.
On lap 51, Ende brought the No. 39 Porsche 997 to pit lane for a green flag pit stop that included a driver change. Now with Pumpelly behind the wheel the team had some work to do because Pumpelly fell from 10th to 22nd before all of the pit stops had cycled through.
"My opening stint went pretty well," Ende said of his start. "I lost several spots at the start. I tucked in behind the wrong guy in turn one and people went around us on the outside in turns one and two and then on the inside in three. But, then it was a pretty steady stint. I was basically behind one of the Turner and one of the Automatic cars the whole time. It was just a waiting game - waiting for one of them to make a mistake. But, it was pretty hard to pass.
"It was a steady stint until one of the Automatic cars decided to out-brake himself. He hit the side of the curb and then hit our car. It did not put us out so we counted ourselves lucky."
Undaunted by his position, Pumpelly managed to knife through traffic setting faster lap times as the race went on. In fact, Pumpelly set the team's fastest race lap with a 0:59.029 on lap 102 of the 140-lap event.
On lap125, Pumpelly was running third when he passed the No. 37 Mustang GT for second. With only 15 laps remaining and with the leader having a nearly 12 second lead over the field, Pumpelly did his best to chase down the leader. But, he simply ran out of time cutting the eventual race-winner's margin of victory down to 2.302-seconds.
"TRG gave me an excellent car this weekend," Pumpelly said. "I couldn't have been happier with the team and my co-driver Duncan. We dug ourselves in a hole with the DNF in Daytona. So, we are looking for nothing but good finishes from here on out if we are going to be in the championship hunt. I think Duncan and I can contend and that's what were here for and what TRG is here for. Today was a good day."
Piloting the No. 41 Cohen Financial/Wolftec Inc./www.WTInc.com/Ludwig Motorsports Porsche 997, Peter Ludwig started seventh on the GS grid and moved up one position after getting a good start. Ludwig spent the majority of his 60-lap stint in the top-five and, in fact, was running third when the race's first caution came out on lap 58.
Under yellow on lap 60, Ludwig made his pit stop, which included putting co-driver Scott Schroeder in the car. When the race went green, Schroeder was in fourth place and managed to keep the No. 41 machine in the top-five for the next 25 laps.
On lap 86, Schroeder began to surrender positions due to a wheel issue. This problem continued to make the car difficult for Schroeder to handle and he was in 11th place when he had to make a final green flag fuel pit stop on lap 121. This stop dropped Schroeder to 17th, but he managed to pick up one more position before the day was through.
"The car was good," Ludwig said. "My stint went great. But, something happened in turn two. I heard a clink in the front right and maybe we broke a bushing or something. So, we were driving wounded, but we still did pretty well. TRG is a great team with a great motor."
"The car was real tough to drive," Schroeder said following his stint. "Peter did a good job. We think we broke a sway bar early in the race. The handling just wasn't there. But, we did well."
"All four drivers did a really nice job," Team Owner Kevin Buckler said. "Peter was stellar on his first stint. He really mixed it up with the top leaders and top pros. Duncan did the same thing during his stint and kept it on the lead lap. He drove really smart. He had some hairy moves down in one. We were all biting our nails down here. But, he did a great job of hanging on to it and turned the car over to Spencer on the lead lap - exactly what those guys are supposed to do. We had one little problem with some wheels or wheel weights. I am not exactly sure what it was. We thought we had the fuel game figured out. But, the other guys were able to outlast us. It was really close at the end. Scott had a really strong drive but some small problems cost us a bit and Spencer drove his tail off and the crew did a great job. Everything worked out well. We'll take the podium and the points and head to the next race."