After narrowly missing victory at Sebring, Ende and RSR Racing have Prototype Challenge victory in their sights
April 30, 2014 (Los Angeles, Calif.) – A disappointing start to the season at the Rolex 24 at Daytona gave way to a strong performance for Duncan Ende and the no. 09 Lino’spresso USA / RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 at the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. With solid performances by Ende, as well as teammates Bruno Junquiera and David Heinemeier Hansson, the no. 09 Lino’spresso USA / RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 was in a position to win until an extended caution period late in the race. That caution period negated the fuel advantage that would have taken Ende and RSR Racing to victory in the Prototype Challenge class.
In the end, Ende would have to settle for the second step on the podium. Despite being so close to victory, the race was a step forward for the team and has provided a much-needed push as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship descends on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. This weekend will feature two races for the TUDOR Series, including one for the Prototype Challenge and GT-Daytona classes.
“We entered Sebring pretty disappointed with how Daytona had gone, and even though we just missed out on the win, it was good to get back to racing at the sharp end of the field,” said Ende. “But now, we might be more motivated to get our first victory of the year. We are in a hole in the championship so our whole approach is to win every race and see where we end up.”
Although a strong result would elude them, Ende, Junquiera and RSR Racing enjoyed a strong run in last year’s American Le Mans Series race in the Prototype Challenge class. Ende led the early stages of the race, but Junqueira would ultimately suffer race-ending damage when he had contact with a P2 class car. This weekend’s race for the Prototype Challenge and GT-Daytona classes will provide a slightly different challenge than the rest of the season.
“Laguna was frustrating last year, but we can go into this weekend knowing that we know how to be fast there,” said Ende. “It’s one of the best tracks we visit this year and one that I really enjoy driving at. Even though it’s only us and the GT-D cars in our race, with the number of GT-D cars and a relatively short lap, traffic will be a big factor in our race. We won’t have any of the Prototype cars to contend with who will be passing us and involved in their own race, but there’s a large number of GT-D cars and Laguna is a pretty short track. It will be an exciting race.”
The first race of the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda, which will feature the Prototype Challenge class, will be shown live on Sunday, May 4 at 1:00 PM ET on Fox Sports 1.
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
To learn more:
Lino’spressoUSA, visit www.linospressousa.com
Merchant Services, Ltd., visit www.merchantservicesltd.com
STANDD, visit www.standd.org, and follow them on twitter at @STANDD_626
Racer’s Roast, visit www.racersroast.com
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