When Los Angeles native Duncan Ende first decided to take on the call of the Koni Challenge in 2007, to many outsiders it seemed like a daunting task. With a background purely in the open wheel ranks, the change to a heavier, softer-sprung TRG Porsche 997 was undoubtedly a major challenge for the 22-year old.
The Porsche was definitely a different beast from what I’d been driving in the past, but the opportunities with Grand-Am and TRG were just too tempting to pass up stated Ende.
However, after dueling it out with a number of very experienced competitors during the 12-race season, Duncan can proudly look back on a very accomplished debut year, which would result in three top-10 finishes, including leading several races & a season best 4th in Lime Rock, Connecticut.
Duncan’s progression throughout the season was exceptional noted TRG team owner Kevin Buckler. We had a young man who came in to our development program as one of open wheel racings more promising talents, and through his focus, determination, and open minded attitude with our engineers and driving coaches, I can proudly say that Duncan is becoming one of sports-car racings fastest-rising stars.
One of the reasons Duncan decided to take the plunge with TRG was because of their highly-rated driver development program. Utilizing the best available on-board data acquisition software and video, and coupling Duncan with such standout coaches as Daytona 24 Hour winners Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly, and Grant Maiman the ability for Duncan to quickly get on the pace was greatly helped by TRG’s resources.
I have to thank guys like Andy and Spencer, and of course my 2007 co-driver Grant Maiman. These guys were constantly feeding me with positive re-enforcement as well as constructive critiques, and I think that all combined to such a fun year, stated Ende.
Duncan’s progress throughout 2007 was impressive. He really kept me honest at the end of the year, and my best memory was watching him run in the top three in Utah, stated TRG coach, and Duncan’s 2007 teammate, Grant Maiman.
Spencer Pumpelly will be Duncan’s team mate for the 2008 Koni Challenge season.
I think with Spencer’s talent and TRG’s teamwork, there’s no reason we can’t seriously run for the championship next year. said Duncan.
With 2007 now fresh in everyone’s minds, and Duncan and Spencer preparing for their first test together at the upcoming November test days, the team shows nothing but promise.
I think all of our cars have a great shot at the Koni title next year, exclaimed Kevin Buckler, but without doubt Duncan and Spencer are going to be really tough for everyone to beat. We have two top-line drivers in that car and a year of experience under all of our belts and I think everyone in the paddock is going to take notice.
Duncan Ende will continue with his sponsorship from a number of different organizations in 2008, including the DigiTrust Group, Adam’s Premium Car Care Products, KnowledgeNews.net, and even his own Racer’s Roast brand from the Fox River Coffee Company.
TRG is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance automotive parts, an engine and chassis building and tuning facility, a full-service race-car preparation shop and multiple professional race teams. The company also provides electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and arrive-and-drive services. TRG is based in Petaluma, Calif., near its home track of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
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