Ende looks to recapture the speed his Audi R8 LMS had in St. Pete and Long Beach
May 29, 2013 (Los Angeles, Calif.) â€“ After a hard-luck weekend at Circuit of the Americas, where Duncan Ende would wheel his no. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services Audi R8 LMS to seventh and fifth place finishes in the pair of Pirelli World Challenge GT races, he is excited to return to another temporary street circuit â€“ the circuit at Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan for this weekendâ€™s Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle.
Ende showed considerable pace at the two previous street circuits on the World Challenge schedule â€“ St. Petersburg and Long Beach â€“ but was slowed each weekend by mechanical gremlins. After a punctured tire kept him from scoring a podium in the second race at Austin, Ende was happy for the short break between Austin and this weekendâ€™s pair of races at Belle Isle.
â€œThis will be my first experience at Belle Isle, and Iâ€™m really looking forward to getting back in the STANDD / Merchant Services Audi,â€ said Ende. â€œThe circuit looks like a lot of fun, and it looks like another good circuit for the Audi. Weâ€™ll probably be chasing the Volvos again at the starts but if we have a long enough green flag run, the Audis will come alive in the second half of the race. I think I could have been on the podium twice in Austin if things had gone a little differently, so Iâ€™m glad weâ€™ve only had a weekend off between these two races â€“ Iâ€™m ready to go racing again.â€
Although the GT field has shrunk a bit for the Belle Isle weekend, the GTS field remains large which means a lot of lapped traffic for the GT cars to deal with. Dealing with lapped traffic is nothing new for Ende, who has years of ALMS and Grand-Am experience, but is another variable that comes into play when in the midst of the tight GT class battle â€“ of which there will be two this weekend.â€
â€œOn a street circuit like Detroit, you have even less room to deal with the lapped traffic,â€ said Ende. â€œJust the same as St. Pete and Long Beach, you have one, maybe two, places to easily make a pass but you also will have parts of the track that are literally single file. So qualifying here will be more important than at a place like Austin, and managing traffic will be really important for the GT class cars. And once we do it on Saturday, weâ€™ll have to go back and do the same thing on Sunday â€“ so staying out of trouble and keeping the Audi in one piece will be really important.â€
The Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle begins with practice and qualifying on Friday, May 31. Saturdayâ€™s race will go green at 10: 15 AM ET, with Sundayâ€™s race beginning at 12:00 PM ET. Both races will be shown live at world-challengetv.com. NBC Sports will broadcast the Detroit weekend on Sunday, June 16th at 5:00 PM ET.
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
To learn more:
Merchant Services, Ltd., visit www.merchantservicesltd.com
STANDD, visit www.standd.org, and follow them on twitter at @STANDD_626
Racerâ€™s Roast, visit www.racersroast.com
GMG Racing, visit www.gmgracing.com
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