TRG’s Ende and Pumpelly Third in KONI Challenge at Mid-Ohio

Lexington, Ohio, (June 22, 2009) – TRG’s Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly finished third in Saturday’s running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series KONI Sports Car Challenge race today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Mid-Ohio’s 2.2-mile twisty rolling terrain does not favor the Porsche GS cars, but the team had a solid run. Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly had the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam’s Polishes/Racer’s Roast Coffee/Intercity Lines/TRG Porsche 997 setup and ready to race. Ende, once again, had a monster qualifying effort, putting the No. 39 on the second row. Early contact in the race resulted in a bent wheel and a pit stop under green, hampering what could have been a possible win. The duo were able get up on the podium proving that well driven Porsche can still hang with the big V-8s.

“We had another good qualifying run,” Ende said. “Spencer and I are really clicking on the setup of the car. We had a very strong race considering that little contact early on. I got hit by a Mustang in the right-rear on lap three. I had to pit, I thought we had a tire going down, but it ended up being a bent wheel. I went back out and was dead last. I was able to run it back up to sixth. We had a great car. If we could have stayed up front, we would have been battling for the win. With everything considered, it was a good result. We got lucky and wound up third. Spencer put in an impressive run and it was a good team effort.”

“The car was fantastic all day,” Pumpelly said. “We had the minor issue of Duncan getting hit from behind and bending the rim. We had to do an extra pit stop under green and that put us 15-seconds behind the last car in line. Duncan did a great job to make up the time and get the car up to sixth before handing off to me. Unfortunatelywhen you go green for two-and-a-half hours it is tough to make up that time. I think we had a car capable of winning the race. We didn’t have the luck, but everyone on the team did a great job.”

John Potter and Andy Lally had a tough day in their No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997. Potter did an excellent job in qualifying putting the No. 41 on the fifth row. In the race Potter spent nearly half of the race behind the wheel. Lally got in and experienced an electrical problem which canceled feedback to one cylinder, costing the six-cylinder Porsche valuable horsepower and ending their day early.

“The whole race went green, no caution periods,” Lally said. “It was a fast race. When I got in the car I immediately noticed the engine was down on power. We had an electrical, issue, a plug wire or something that affected the power. By this time we were really behind and didn’t want to damage the engine any more. John did a great job and spent a lot of time in the car. We were lined-up for a good finish, but it was just one of those days.”

Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, had an up and down KONI Challenge race.

“Duncan did a great job in qualifying and on the track,” Buckler said. “I am so proud of how he has come on this year behind the wheel. He gives excellent feedback proving he belongs up at the front with the best drivers out there. He and Spencer had to overcome some early adversity but they kept their heads down and ended up on the podium. We are very much alive in this championship! John Potter had another great run and continues to improve and impress. He spent a long time at the wheel battling with some of the best sports car drivers in the country. Unfortunately when Andy got in we had the electrical issue.”

The KONI Challenge Sports Car Series race from Mid-Ohio will be televised, tape delayed, on the SPEED Channel, June 28 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

05-19-2009 → Ende and Pumpelly Third in TRG Porsche at Laguna

TRG’s Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly fought back from some early race troubles to finish third in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Verizon Wireless Festival of Speed race run at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca today. It is the second podium in three weeks for the duo who won the last race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Ende started the race in the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam’s Polishes/Racer’s Roast Coffee/TRG Porsche 997 from his second row qualifying position. At the start Ende was reporting handling problems and pitted on lap 15. On the next pit stop, Ende turned the car over to Pumpelly and the TRG crew made a sway bar adjustment on the front and an air pressure change, which brought the car back into the track.

“There was something going on with the handling of the car at the start,” Ende said. “The car had huge understeer, I thought that there was a rear sway bar that broke or a shock that was bent. I brought the car in and the team took a look and didn’t find anything. I came back in and turned the car over to Spencer and they made a front sway bar adjustment which might have done the trick. They also adjusted the tire pressure.”

“I am not sure what happened early on,” Pumpelly said. “We pitted the car three times and did a drive thru and still managed to finish on the podium. We made a strategy call to come in and just fuel and not take tires. I am not sure if I would have took tires if we could have won here with the power that the Mustangs and BMWs have. Third is a good place for us today.”

John Potter and Andy Lally in the No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997 had their second consecutive tough weekend. After a strong opening stint by Potter, Lally got in the car and while leaving the pits, lost the clutch and had to drive several laps without it. The result was a broken third and fourth gear as well as time in the paddock for repairs.

“Sometimes you have stretches like this in racing,” Lally said. “John did a strong opening stint and had us in excellent position. I got in the car, dropped it into gear, left the pits and then when I went to shift to second the clutch went away. Just a tough stretch of races for us, it will turn around and we will win soon.”

Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, has the KONI program showing strength.

“Once again Duncan and Spencer had a great weekend,” Buckler said. “Duncan had a few issues at the start, but was able to drive around them and hand off the car to Spencer in really good position. Spencer was contending for the win, but the Mustangs and BMWs just have too much motor. John Potter had a good opening run and those guys looked strong early. It was too bad for Andy, they actually beat the 39 car out of the pits and then the clutch went. A good points day for the 39 and TRG has the top finishing Porsche.”

The KONI Challenge Sports Car Series will race across country to Lime Rock Park in Connecticut for their next race to run on May 25th.

The Koni Challenge race from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be televised on the SPEED Channel, taped delayed, on May 23rd at 12:00 p.m. ET.

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