Ende laps the Prototype Challenge field for the second race in a row
July 23, 2013 (Los Angeles, Calif.) â€“ Duncan Ende enjoyed another strong run in the American Le Mans Seriesâ€™ Prototype Challenge presented by Continental class on Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, as he dominated the early stages of the race. However, a mechanical failure would mean that the no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 that he shares with Bruno Junqueira would fall from contention, finishing fifth in class at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Challenge.
With the grid set on owners points after qualifying was cut short due to a competitor’s crash, Ende would start the race in second position – but it would be a short period of time before he moved to the class lead and began increasing his gap over the rest of the field. Keeping his class lead through the first round of pit stops, Ende would put a lap on the rest of the Prototype Challenge field, running as high as fourth place overall before his second stop where he turned the car over to Junqueira.
It was in that second stop that the car would not restart, with the no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 sitting stationary for several minutes, going down several laps before it finally refired. The car would ultimately finish fifth in class.
â€œItâ€™s totally gutting to have everything going our way, and then have the race slip through our fingers like that,â€ said Ende. â€œThe RSR Racing guys gave us a great car â€“ it was a complete joy to drive and I think we had everyone covered today. And turning over to Bruno, you know he would have been able to bring it home for us just like he did at Lime Rock. So all around, itâ€™s a real shame. Now I canâ€™t wait to get to Road America to try and get back onto the top step of the box.â€
While ultimately their race would have a disappointing finish, it was the fourth time this season that Ende had led the Prototype Challenge race, and the second in a row that he was able to lap the rest of the Prototype Challenge class in the first part of the race.
â€œWeâ€™ve definitely had pace, and credit goes to RSR Racing for giving Bruno and me a great car that runs at the front of this very competitive field,â€ said Ende. â€œItâ€™s so good in and out of every week we know we are on to something special. Bruno and I will keep digging.â€
The next round of the American Le Mans Series will be the Orion Energy Systems 245 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 9-11, 2013.
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
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