After arriving at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama with thoughts of earning their first victory of the season, Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly were disappointed to finish outside the top ten for the first time in four races, bringing the 39 car home in 13th place. Although the team showed excellent pace in practice throughout the weekend, engine trouble hamstrung pair in the race as the drivers struggled with a loss of power and a car which failed to restart after the mid-race pit stop.
Ende started 13th in the No. 39 Carlsen Porsche/The DigiTrust Group/Adam’s Polishes/Fox River Coffee Porsche 997. Throughout his 44-lap stint, Ende fought some power issues, but still managed to have the car up to seventh when he made his green flag pit stop. On lap 44, Ende made his final stop and turned the No. 39 Porsche over Pumpelly. On pit lane, Pumpelly had difficulty re-firing the car and when he finally returned to the track he had dropped to 20th.
Throughout Pumpelly’s stint, he did what he could to regain some of his lost positions, which included turning the No. 39 machine’s fastest race lap with a 1:40.7424 (80.007 mph). Unfortunately, Pumpelly could not overcome some the early problems and finished 13th.
“All I could do out there was keep the car clean and try to pressure people into making mistakes.” Ende said. “That being said, even with the power issues, I think we would have had a top ten finish if the car had been able to fire properly during our pit stop. Obviously we didn’t show up this weekend to finish 13th. With a healthy race car, I’d say we would have been in very good shape to bring home some solid points. Between getting the 39 car repaired from the crash at the Glen and all of the engine issues the team went though this weekend, the entire crew put out another tremendous effort. Hopefully next time we’ll have some good luck on our side and bring home the sort of finish we’re all working for.”
“It was pretty uneventful for me today,” Pumpelly said. “I didn’t have anyone ahead or behind me the whole time. It was more like doing a long time trial or a qualifying session. It was really strung out at that time, so there was really not that much to do but focus on consistent lap times and that is what we did. When we pitted, the engine was hot and we had trouble starting it. It was tough situation to get the car started. The guys did a great pit stop and the engine not firing cost us a lot of time. It was too bad; the guys had a lightening quick pit stop. We were going to improve our track position on a lot of guys, but the motor wouldn’t fire. It really hurt. The car wasn’t as good as it was in practice, not really sure what was going on. I wasn’t running around any other cars so I am not sure where were down.”
“Duncan drove his heart out, did a great job,” said Team Owner Kevin Buckler. “The car was a little crippled, there was some oil on the back of it at the end and there was something going on – it was a little down on power. Spencer did a great job. Both he and Duncan were safe and smart and that is what we need to win races. It just wasn’t our opportunity today.”
The Koni Challenge series next heads to Iowa Speedway Aug. 10.