Despite Trouble-Free run, Ende and Teammates Richard and Lewis Finish Seventh at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
May 14, 2012 (Los Angeles, Calif.) â€“ Â Â At the end of six hours of racing at the American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patron at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the no. 25 Dempsey / Silicon Tech Racing Prototype Challenge car driven by Duncan Ende, Henri Richard and Ryan Lewis took the checkered flag seventh in class, and sixteenth overall.
The result was a disappointing one, as the car had run at the front of the Prototype Challenge field in the early stages of the race. However, two separate penalties assessed to the car â€“ one for Lewis crossing the track line in turn one, and the other to Ende for an incorrect wave-by procedure â€“ would knock the car out of contention.
â€œThis was really frustrating, because we didnâ€™t make any mistakes during the race,â€ said Ende. â€œI donâ€™t think we put a wheel wrong all day, we didnâ€™t have any spins or contact, and the guys in the pits were perfect. The penalties were really frustrating and we didnâ€™t agree with either of them, but thatâ€™s just the way the race went for us.â€
While the result was ultimately unsatisfactory for Ende, he took away some positives in the fact that the car was in contention for a podium position until the penalties dropped it too many laps down the field.
â€œThe Prototype Challenge class is so competitive, you really canâ€™t recover from any penalties or mistakes,â€ said Ende. â€œI donâ€™t think we had the car to win, but if we had been able to stay on the lead lap we would have been fighting for a podium.
Before the race, Ende joined several other drivers for a bike ride around the 2.2-mile, eleven turn track â€“ a track that is much hillier than Ende had previously thought.
â€œI knew that it would be a big climb from turn five to the Corkscrew,â€ said Ende, who completed nine laps of the track. â€œBut the hill in turn one was really steep! It was really fun to ride on the track and see it from a new perspective. There were several other ALMS drivers out there so it kind of became a race â€“ no big surprise!â€
The ALMS will now take its early-season break to allow teams to compete in the 24 Hours of LeMans. Ende will be back with the Dempsey/Silicon Tech Racing team on July 6-7 at the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT.
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
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Efrain Olivares, (818) 254-7196, email@example.com