A forgettable race on Saturday leads to an exciting finish on Sunday
June 3, 2013 (Los Angeles, Calif.) â€“ In a difficult pair of races at the Pirelli World Challengeâ€™s Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle, Duncan Ende brought home seventh and fourth place finishes aboard his no. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services Audi R8 LMS.
After qualifying seventh, Saturdayâ€™s race was an exercise in frustration as Ende was held up from the start by a slower car. In Sundayâ€™s caution-filled race, where Ende qualified fifth, he found himself embroiled again in a mid-pack battle before a late- race caution packed the field up for a restart. Taking the restart in fifth place, Ende would take the checkered flag in fourth position as a result of an incident just after the restart.
â€œI canâ€™t wait to get to Lime Rock,â€ said Ende. â€œBoth days were pretty frustrating and really not representative of how good the STANDD / Merchant Services Audi R8 LMS was this weekend. We just couldnâ€™t get qualifying right and as a result we were held up on both days, so it was a pretty forgettable weekend. â€
The restart caught Ende off-guard as he did not know the race was going green until the pace car ducked into the pits at the last moment. Entering turn three, the Cadillac of Andy Pilgrim and the Audi of Endeâ€™s GMG Racing teammate James Sofronas battled for position, with both cars slowing down much more than usual. As a result, Ende made contact with Pilgrimâ€™s Cadillac, causing him to spin. As a result, the race would end under caution.
â€œThe last restart on Sunday was my best chance to get up to the podium but I didnâ€™t mean to spin Andy to do that,â€ said Ende. â€œWhen he and James went into turn three side-by-side they slowed down much more than I was expecting and I didnâ€™t check up enough and I tagged Andy. I was completely surprised by the start and didnâ€™t have my tires and brakes up to temp which probably played into it. Unfortunately, not only did it end Andyâ€™s race but it meant the race ended under caution and the fans had to sit through a lot of caution in that race as it was.â€
After seven rounds of the World Challenge GT season, Ende is seventh in the driverâ€™s championship with 517 points.
The Cadillac V-Series Challenge will be shown on NBC Sports on Sunday, June 16 at 5:00 PM ET. Both races can also be streamed on demand at world-challengetv.com. The next round of World Challenge will be July 4-6 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
To learn more:
Merchant Services, Ltd., visit www.merchantservicesltd.com
STANDD, visit www.standd.org, and follow them on twitter at @STANDD_626
Racerâ€™s Roast, visit www.racersroast.com
GMG Racing, visit www.gmgracing.com
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