LAKEVILLE, Conn. – TRG drivers Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly earned their first podium finish of the 2008 Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series season today finishing second in the GS race at Lime Rock Park.
Ende started 13th in the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam’s Polishes/Fox River Coffee/Sherab Khandro.com Porsche 997 and quickly fell six positions at the start due to getting caught behind a slower car. But, as the field began to spread out, Ende began picking up positions and even had the No. 39 machine in the top-10 before handing it over to co-driver Pumpelly.
On lap 51, Ende brought the No. 39 Porsche 997 to pit lane for a green flag pit stop that included a driver change. Now with Pumpelly behind the wheel the team had some work to do because Pumpelly fell from 10th to 22nd before all of the pit stops had cycled through.
“My opening stint went pretty well,” Ende said of his start. “I lost several spots at the start. I tucked in behind the wrong guy in turn one and people went around us on the outside in turns one and two and then on the inside in three. But, then it was a pretty steady stint. I was basically behind one of the Turner and one of the Automatic cars the whole time. It was just a waiting game – waiting for one of them to make a mistake. But, it was pretty hard to pass.
“It was a steady stint until one of the Automatic cars decided to out-brake himself. He hit the side of the curb and then hit our car. It did not put us out so we counted ourselves lucky.”
Undaunted by his position, Pumpelly managed to knife through traffic setting faster lap times as the race went on. In fact, Pumpelly set the team’s fastest race lap with a 0:59.029 on lap 102 of the 140-lap event.
On lap125, Pumpelly was running third when he passed the No. 37 Mustang GT for second. With only 15 laps remaining and with the leader having a nearly 12 second lead over the field, Pumpelly did his best to chase down the leader. But, he simply ran out of time cutting the eventual race-winner’s margin of victory down to 2.302-seconds.
“TRG gave me an excellent car this weekend,” Pumpelly said. “I couldn’t have been happier with the team and my co-driver Duncan. We dug ourselves in a hole with the DNF in Daytona. So, we are looking for nothing but good finishes from here on out if we are going to be in the championship hunt. I think Duncan and I can contend and that’s what were here for and what TRG is here for. Today was a good day.”