Both TRG Porsches Take Top-15 Results in KONI Challenge Series at Mosport. PETALUMA, Calif. -The first voyage north of the border for the 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series produced top-15 results for both of TRG's Porsches in Saturday's race...
Both TRG Porsches Take Top-15 Results in KONI Challenge Series at Mosport.
PETALUMA, Calif. -The first voyage north of the border for the 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series produced top-15 results for both of TRG's Porsches in Saturday's race at Mosport International Raceway.
No. 39 The DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Fox River Coffee/Sherab-Khandro.com Porsche 997 co-drivers Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly came home sixth, with the No. 41 Cohen Financial/Wolf-Tec Inc./www.WTInc.com/Ludwig-Motorsports/Pillers Porsche 997 co-drivers Scott Schroeder and Peter Ludwig finishing 12th. Both cars competed in the Grand Sport (GS) class.
"The cars ran flawlessly," said TRG team manager Jason Myers. "There were zero issues with the cars all weekend long, and that really is a testament to how professional and proficient our crew and mechanics are. As usual, the drivers were professional and extremely competitive. The only hiccup during the weekend came at about an hour into the race, when during a yellow flag, there was some confusion from the officials about what class could pit and when. In the ensuing confusion, certain GS cars entered the pits when they were closed and were able to perform pit stops without being penalized. This allowed them to gain track position and ultimately swayed the outcome of the race. I hope that next time around, the pit order is called correctly and that those not following the rules will be penalized."
Ende started the No. 39 Porsche from the 10th position and held his own throughout his stint behind the wheel before handing the controls over to Pumpelly to finish it out. After taking over the car in 15th place, Pumpelly put together a strong charge to the front, working his way up as high as fourth before a tough battle on the final lap left him sixth when the checkered flag dropped.
The crew turned out a really fantastic car for the race," Ende said. "I think we probably had the best handling car in the entire field on race day. Unfortunately, Mosport really let the higher horsepower cars stretch their legs and whenever I'd get held up or hung out by traffic, the Mustangs and BMWs would be able to motor right past me on the back straight. I lost a few spots early in my stint, but as the laps ticked by I managed to get some of them back and I think when I came in to turn the car over to Spencer I was right back around where I had started."
It was the second consecutive top-six performance for the No. 39 duo, as Pumpelly and Ende also finished second in Round 2 of the 10-race 2008 KONI Challenge Series at Lime Rock Park last month.
"For a track that doesn't favor the Porsche, we did a good job of surviving," Pumpelly said. "Sixth place gets us good points and allows us to move to tracks where Grand-Am rules put us at less of a disadvantage. For the third time in three races the TRG crew was fantastic and a big reason we were able to keep the car competitive."
The performance also moved the No. 39 temmates into a tie for seventh in the KONI Challenge GS point standings with the No. 41 team. Making their second start together, Schroeder and Ludwig also have a solid outing at Mosport.
Ludwig placed the No. 41 Porsche 19th on the starting grid and worked his way forward to 16th before turning the car over to Schroeder. The youngster continued the team's forward progress and battled the likes of sports car aces Bill Auberlen and Andrew Davis before settling for 12th at the flag. The No. 41 machine has now finished 16th or better in all three of his KONI Challenge starts to date.
"This was my first time at Mosport, but the track was everything that I've heard about," Ludwig said. "It was fast and blind. The handling was spot-on for our race Saturday. We were able to move up several positions rather quickly on the initial laps with a great handling car and some late corner passes. Many know this track is better suited for higher horsepower cars, since the back straight is so long and all uphill. It was very frustrating to have a constant and aggressive blocking move lap after lap by a particular Mustang in the braking and turn entry zones, but I guess horsepower makes up for talent in some drivers. No worries. We just need to turn the page. Overall, we had a strong car finishing among the top three Porsches this weekend. I am very, very happy."
"I knew coming into this race that it was going to be a hard one simply because the track did not suit our Porsches," Schroeder added. "However, the TRG guys did a great job the whole weekend and we had a strong car."