New class, new teammates, and the biggest race of the year await Ende in Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 12, 2011 (Los Angeles, Calif.) â€“ After several seasons competing in GT-class machinery, 27-year-old Duncan Ende will make the jump to prototype competition this weekend at the 60th Anniversary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida. A switch to the Prototype Challenge class, and the influx of competitive teams and star drivers in the class will provide Ende a fresh challenge after his 2011 season which saw him take three victories in the GT-C class.
The challenge begins with the biggest â€“ and longest â€“ race on the 2012 American Le Mans Schedule. Situated on the former Hendricks Field airport in central Florida, Sebring International Raceway serves up 17 very different turns, long straight-aways, and one of the bumpiest racing surfaces in the world. Every March, the facility is transformed as thousands of spectators camp out and build temporary grandstands to take in the 12 hours of racing that starts under the Florida sun and finishes under the lights.
For Ende, who will be battling for the ALMSâ€™s Prototype Challenge class championship in the no. 25 Future Electronics/HP/STANDD.org Oreca FLM09 with co-driver Henri Richard, the 12 Hours of Sebring is crucial to a strong championship run. Dane Cameron will join Ende and Richard for the 12 Hours of Sebring.
â€œThe 12 Hours of Sebring is an unbelievable spectacle â€“ it is as much a party as it is a world-class endurance race,â€ said Ende, who will take part in his second 12 Hours of Sebring. â€œIt is a really fun event to be a part of, but for us, it will be all business as we want to start off the season in the best possible way â€“ with a win. The Prototype Challenge class is full of strong teams and drivers, and we are expecting to have a huge battle which will be great for the fans. But our goal is to finish the season as champions, and with the competition we have, we canâ€™t afford to have a bad result at Sebring. We know that the Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing team will give us a car capable of winning, and it is just up to Henri, Dane, and myself to deliver the best result possible.â€
The preparation for the 12 Hours of Sebring has been extensive for Ende, who has spent much of his off season preparing for the physical demands of the Oreca FLM09. In addition to logging miles on his road bicycle and hours in the gym, he also participated in the ALMS Winter Test with his new Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing team where his car finished with the fastest time in the Prototype Challenge class. He has also been known to log laps virtually at Sebring on Forza Motorsport 4 as well.
â€œThe off-season is way too long,â€ said Ende. â€œI want to make sure that I am doing everything I can to be ready for Sebring, as well as the rest of the season, especially as the season starts with the 12 Hours of Sebring. Not only is it a long race, but it is an extremely physically demanding circuit. Working out and getting myself into the best shape â€“ and doing some virtual racing at Sebring â€“ is not only good for my performance, but it helps me get rid of the nervous energy that I get in the off-season.â€
Ende will be able to see if his training paid off when the 60th Anniversary of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring goes green at 10:30 AM ET on Saturday March 17. The race will be broadcast in its entirety on ESPN3.com, with qualifying also shown on ESPN3.com on Friday, March 16 at 3:15 ET. The television broadcast of the race will air on Sunday, March 18 at 12:00 ET on ABC.
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
To learn more:
Racerâ€™s Roast, visit http://www.foxrivercoffee.com/Qstore/P__1180624646.html
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