Ende Qualifies on Pole at Lime Rock
Lime Rock, Conn. —
Duncan Ende put the No. 39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes/Racer's Roast Coffee/TRG Porsche 997 on the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Series GS pole for Monday's race at Lime Rock Park.
Ende and teammate Spencer Pumpelly worked with the TRG crew to make the No. 39 GS Porsche faster throughout the day. The first session the duo were 10th on the time sheet, second session seventh, third session fifth and then Ende delivered a lap time of 57.171 seconds around the1.53-mile, seven turn track to take pole position.
"The car is running pretty good," Ende said. "The track, with its new surface, doesn't have a lot grip. The car is not easy to drive by any means, but we have a lot of speed. We will be there as long we keep things nice and tidy. Qualifying was an intense 15-minutes. It was a hell of a lap to get the pole. It was not at all an easy run. I had the car on the ragged edge. I was dropping wheels left and right for the first couple of laps. It came together when it had to to take the pole."
The team was not fast off of the trailer.
"We searched for a good balance on the car all day yesterday. The track is so low grip that we were chasing our tails a little bit. The car portrayed every bit of bad behavior it had, but the crew did a good job to help us dial it in. Lime Rock is a typically good track for the Porsche and the team. Spencer and I had our first podium together here last year, so we knew we were going to have a good weekend. We just had to work for it."
"The tire wear seems to be good for us. Our cars are a little lighter than the Mustangs, so we should be good with tires on Monday. So far we're good. We will have to see what Monday brings. The weather Monday is looking to be perfect."
"Our strategy for the race will be to stay upfront, drive fast and be ready for long runs. There's only 18 cars here in the GS class and we haven't had any black flags in practice, so we are looking for long runs in the race. We are anticipating needing to do everything on speed on Monday instead of strategy."
John Potter qualified the No. 41 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche 997 in 11th with a time of 58.255 seconds. Potter and teammate Andy Lally will be looking to get to the front and run with their teammates.
Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner, is proud of the way Ende has progressed as a driver.
"Duncan has really hit his stride this year as a young professional driver," Buckler said. "He and Spencer area a magical combo and this should be a great race. This is the third year for Duncan here at Lime Rock with TRG and he has always been flat-out fast here. He led at this track in 2007 and finished on the podium last year. This year it is time for a win. Getting his first pole at a technical track like Lime Rock really proves he belongs at the front of this field. The unfair advantage of the big V-8s is minimized at Lime Rock. We are working towards a championship and want to leave Lime Rock gaining more points on the field. We are on a roll."
The KONI Challenge Sports Car Series will run at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Monday, May 25th. Unfortunately the race will not be televised.
TRG was founded in 1993 and has been competing at the top level of motor racing ever since. The team has the most wins of any team in the Grand-Am Rolex Series with 26, including the 2005 and 2006 Rolex Series GT championship trophy to go along with wins at the Rolex 24 (three) at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. TRG's young KONI Challenge team has logged three wins and recorded eight podium finishes in their first two seasons of competition.
TRG is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance racing parts. The group specializes in engine and chassis tuning as well as full service professional race car preparation. The company also provides electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and arrive-and-drive opportunities. TRG is based in Petaluma, Calif., near its home track of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. The company's NASCAR operation is based in Mooresville, North Carolina with a new state-of-the-art facility coming on-line at New Jersey Motorsports Park in late 2009.