TRG's Ende and Pumpelly Third in KONI Challenge at Mid-Ohio
Lexington, OH — 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.