August 01, 2013

Pirelli World Challenge Driver Duncan Ende Looks For Rebound | Motorsports Unplugged

Duncan Ende at the Toyota Grand Prix of Lomg Beach as he negotiates Turn 10. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

 

Pirelli World Challenge Driver Duncan Ende Looks For Rebound

Duncan Ende, driver of the no. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services Audi R8 LMS, is looking for a rebound of sorts at this weekend's Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by StopTech Brakes.

Struggling through the World Challenge weekend three weeks ago on the temporary circuit at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Ende would finish in sixth place but never quite came to grips with the bumpy circuit in his first real visit to the circuit.

"Toronto was like a bad first date," said Ende, who it must be said, is married. "I had such high hopes, but in reality, it was completely forgettable. I had actually driven there once before in ChampCar Atlantic, but we had a big crash in practice and didn't make the race. Perhaps, Toronto isn't my kind of circuit which is too bad because it produces some really great racing. However, Mid-Ohio has been much kinder to me over the years - in fact, I won an American Le Mans Series race there in a monsoon two years ago with my friend Spencer Pumpelly."

Mid-Ohio, however, may not be a circuit that suits the strengths of Ende's Audi R8 when it is compared to the Cadillac CTS-V.R's and the Volvo S60s that he has battled with throughout the season. Where the Audi may have a strength lays in its ability to conserve tires better than the competition - this may be the ticket if both races stay green for long periods of time. Double races equal double points for the weekend and a chance to make a double move.

"Mid-Ohio is definitely hard to pass on, but is also a very demanding circuit," said Ende. "So while we may not be able to be quickest from the standing starts and it takes a few laps for the Audi to get heat in its tires, if the race goes green for a long time we'll be looking good while everyone else will be starting to run out of tires. Once we are able to build heat, the Audis will be extremely quick around Mid-Ohio. If we can make it through Toronto with no yellow flags, I'm hoping we can do the same at Mid-Ohio."

 

The business end of the no. 24 STANDD / Merchant Services Audi R8 LMS driven by Duncan Ende through Turn 7 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

 

While Toronto was the racing equivalent to a first date that ends with the comment 'It was so nice to meet you', it did have the benefit of helping Ende move up in the GT class of the SCCA sanctioned Pirelli World Challenge championship. Ende now sits seventh in the standings, with 727 points.

The first race of the Mid-Ohio World Challenge GT/GTS doubleheader will be Saturday, August 3 at 11:40 AM ET, with the second on Sunday, August 4 at 1:35 PM ET. Both races will be streamed live at world-challengetv.com. A television broadcast from Mid-Ohio will air on Sunday, August 18th at 2:00 PM ET.

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