August 22, 2011 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly teamed to score their fifth podium of the 2011 American Le Mans season, when the no. 66 TRG / Racer’s Roast Porsche 911 GT3 Cup crossed the finish line in second place in the GT-C class at the end of four hours of racing in Road America.
While ordinarily a second place would have been something to celebrate, there was some disappointment in the TRG camp as Ende and Pumpelly had the pace to win the race, only to be caught out on fuel strategy in the latter stages. As the white flag flew, Pumpelly had caught the class leading no. 30 NGT Porsche, with the no. 54 Black Swan Porsche right behind. With the no. 54 Black Swan Porsche leading the class championship, Pumpelly’s primary goal was to finish ahead of it.
However, it would be for naught as Pumpelly was pushed off the track by the no. 30 NGT Porsche while overtaking – a move that allowed the no. 54 Black Swan Porsche to pass both cars, and also earned the no. 30 NGT Porsche a penalty for blocking. At the line, the no. 54 Black Swan Porsche took the win with Pumpelly right behind in second.
“We jumped onto an alternate strategy early in the race, and it didn’t really work out for us,” said Ende. “The way that the yellows fell during the race, we were either giving up pace to save fuel, or we were losing our track advantage because a yellow came out at a bad time for us. It was pretty frustrating, because the TRG guys gave Spencer and me a great car and we were in a position to make up ground on the championship. We would have been okay with finishing second if the no. 54 car was behind us in third, but it didn’t work out that way, unfortunately.”
Three races remain in the American Le Mans Series season, with Ende and Pumpelly currently sitting second in the GT-C class championship, ten points behind championship leader Tim Pappas.Â Two of the races – the ModSpace American Le Mans Series Monterey and the Petit Le Mans – will be worth additional points as they are longer than the standard two hour and forty minute race length.
“We are coming down to crunch time, with only three races left on the schedule,” said Ende. “The longer races with the extra points can really help us, although the extra points in Road America hurt us a little. We have three very different tracks ahead of us, and I think we’ll do well at Baltimore. Since it is a brand new street circuit we’ll be starting from scratch but the TRG guys will have a great car for Spencer and me.”
The Baltimore Grand Prix will be held on a temporary street circuit along the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland on September 2-3. The race will be shown live on ESPN3.com at 4:15 PM ET, with a television broadcast on ABC on September 4 at 4:00 PM ET.
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
Efrain Olivares, (818) 254-7196, firstname.lastname@example.org