After leading throughout first hour, no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 succumbs to damage from contact
May 13, 2013 (Los Angeles, Calif.) â€“ A promising run in which it looked like he would stand on an American Le Mans Series podium for the second time in a row came to an end for Duncan Ende, his teammate Bruno Junquiera, and the no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 with a broken oil cooler close to the finish of the American Le Mans Series Monterey.
Starting from third position, Ende advanced to the lead of the PC field during the opening stint. Not only that, he was in fourth overall behind the two leading P1 cars and the P2 class leader. Ende continued to build his lead â€“ even leading the field to the green flag after a full course caution period â€“ until having to avoid a wayward P2 car, flat spotting one of his front Continental tires. The damaged tire slowed Ende in the final few minutes of his stint before handing the car over to Junquiera.
â€œWell things were going really well, and then they werenâ€™t,â€ said Ende. â€œI had a great opening stint and was really happy with how the car was working. The team had a great strategy that we were able to play to perfectly during my stint and over the next couple of hours. I had a few exciting moments â€“ I had minor contact with a GT car going into the Corkscrew, and leading the field to the green flag was interesting since it was literally the only clean track Iâ€™ve seen all weekend!â€
Junquiera would encounter trouble when a wayward P2 car â€“ incidentally, the same one that Ende had to avoid earlier in the race â€“ was tapped into a spin and made contact with the rear of the no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09. Although initially the car was able to continue to race, damage from that incident eventually brought Junquiera into the pits for an extended stop, putting the car out of contention for the win.
â€œItâ€™s a real shame to be effectively taken off the podium and out of the race by that P2 car,â€ said Ende. â€œI hate it for the RSR guys and for Bruno, who is contending for a championship. We know we are a strong team and will have more chances to win races but itâ€™s always tough when you miss on one at the end. Maybe we just need to find another Level of speed in order to avoid having problems with the P2 cars. Unfortunately, going into the LeMans break, this result is what weâ€™ll all be thinking about until the next race in Lime Rock.â€
While the ALMS wonâ€™t race again until July 5-6 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, Ende will stay busy by driving an Audi R8 LMS in the World Challenge championship at that seriesâ€™ rounds at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas and on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan. In Lime Rock, Ende will drive both the no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 in the Prototype Challenge class and the no. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services Audi R8 LMS in the World Challenge GT class.
For more about Duncan Ende, visit www.duncanende.com, or follow him on twitter at @duncanende.
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