Sofronas takes last-minute pole at Long Beach

For Long Beach American Le Mans Series race, Ende will start his Prototype Challenge machine in first position.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 20, 2013)- With track position at a premium on the twisty confines of tomorrow’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, James Sofronas and GMG will start on the pole position in tomorrow’s Pirelli World Challenge event.

Qualifying his no. 14 GMG/Mobil 1 Audi R8 LMS in first with a time of 1:21.087, Sofronas made best use of his tires late in the qualifying session as the track began to warm. Driving in front of his home crowd, the Newport Beach resident will have the best view of the track.

#9 RSR Racing ORECA FLM09: Bruno Junqueira, Duncan Ende
#9 RSR Racing ORECA FLM09: Bruno Junqueira, Duncan Ende

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

“The car was absolutely perfect,” stated the Californian. “After yesterday’s practice we knew we would be close, but the competition is so tight in this series you never know what will happen in qualifying. To do this in front of our home crowd is a great start, but of course the race is what we came to win, tomorrow will definitely be tough.”

Also turning in a stellar performance was fellow Southern Californian Duncan Ende. Hailing from just up the freeway in Los Angeles, Ende turned in the best performance of his brief Pirelli World Challenge career, qualifying fourth with a time of 1:21.542.

With a significant presence this weekend from the Stop Texting And Distracted Driving organization ( on hand to support the no. 24 machine, Ende was extremely pleased with his performance.

“This is definitely a great weekend so far,” stated Ende. “I was very happy with the car, and it was great to finally to capitalize on the potential we knew we had. Between yesterday’s ALMS qualifying and today’s Pirelli World Challenge, it’s been a great weekend!”

For today’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race, Ende will start his Prototype Challenge machine in first position.

Third among the GMG boys and sixth overall, Alex Welch also made good work of his no. 08 Spyder / Lasso Audi R8 LMS. Qualifying with a time of 1:21.917, Welch will start tomorrow from the third row.

“I’m pretty happy with today, this is always such a fun event,” stated Welch. “It’s always a crazy race so we’re hoping for a good clean run.”

Rounding out the GMG Audi lineup was Bret Curtis, who also kept the car in the top ten. Living in nearby Westlake Village, Curtis will start the no. 32 United Steel Supply / Spectra Resources Audi R8 LMS on the outside of the fifth row.

“What a great day for the entire team,” stated Curtis. “It’s always good to have a top ten qualifying, and with the attrition of this race anything is possible. I’m very excited to race in front of my home crowd.”

GMG Racing

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , James Sofronas , Duncan Ende , Bret Curtis , Alex Welch
Teams RSR Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags alms, ende, long beach, sofronas