Northern California track was the site of one of Endeâ€™s three ALMS wins in 2011
May 8, 2012 (Los Angeles, Calif.) â€“ After standing on the top step of the podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last season, Duncan Ende is headed back and looking for a repeat performance this weekend.
After a troublesome start to the season at the 60th Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, Ende and co-driver Henri Richard were simply looking to finish at the seriesâ€™ second round at the Long Beach Grand Prix â€“ which they did, bringing the no. 25 Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing Oreca home in fifth place in the Prototype Challenge class. The race wasnâ€™t smooth-sailing for the team, but after scoring their first finish of the year, Ende says the team has a podium result in its sights at this weekendâ€™s six-hour contest at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
â€œWe are still learning something about our PC car each time we drive it,â€ said Ende, who recently took part in a Dempsey Racing team test at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. â€œWe were very happy with our race pace at Sebring, and now weâ€™ve gotten a handle on what the car needs in a sprint race. But, I think we have a good handle on the endurance races and I always enjoy driving at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, so I am really looking forward to this weekend.â€
Joining Ende and Richard for this weekendâ€™s race will be Ryan Lewis. Lewis and Ende worked together earlier in the year in the initial tests for the Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing program.
â€œWhen we first got the car, Ryan really helped us to get it going in the right direction,â€ said Ende. â€œOn the technical side heâ€™s a big help, and anyone who has raced against him knows that he wonâ€™t quit â€“ he just keeps digging and digging and digging. He also has a sense of humor that Iâ€™ll describe as â€˜uniqueâ€™ but he fits in great with the team.â€
Ende will also get some extra track time as he will take part in a bike ride on the hilly 2.2-mile circuit on Wednesday afternoon.
â€œIf you think the Corkscrew is impressive in a car, try it on a bicycle,â€ said Ende. â€œWhatâ€™s even more impressive than plummeting downhill through turns nine and ten is climbing uphill from turn six to the Corkscrew!â€
The American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patron will be shown live on ESPN3.com on Saturday, May 12 at 4:15 PM ET, and will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday , May 13 at 5:00 PM ET. Qualifying will be shown live on Saturday, May 11 at 7:40 PM ET.
To read Endeâ€™s blog from the ALMSâ€™ last race at the Long Beach Grand Prix on MotoIQ.com, visit: http://tinyurl.com/c88th9j
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
To learn more:
Racerâ€™s Roast and the Fox River Coffee Company, visit www.foxrivercoffee.com.
STANDD, visit www.standd.org
Silicon Tech Racing, visit www.silicontechracing.com
Dempsey Racing, visit www.dempseyracing.net
Efrain Olivares, (818) 254-7196, firstname.lastname@example.org