The final American Le Mans edition of Petit Le Mans, the 10-hour/1000-mile endurance classic at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, started well for Duncan Ende and the no. 9 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 that competes in the Prototype Challenge class. However, time spent behind the pit wall meant that the team of Ende, Bruno Junqueira and newcomer Gustavo Menezes would finish well down the order.
With Ende behind the wheel in the third hour of the race, the RSR Racing machine led the Prototype Challenge class by a healthy margin. However, it was during that stint that Ende would lose the use of his clutch, and the RSR Racing team would be forced to repair the car in the pits. It would ultimately emerge again, finishing the race sixth in class.
“It was a great week and we had a car to win the PC class, but unfortunately, we had a part break and that put us out of contention,” said Ende. “It definitely wasn’t the finish we were looking for – the car was great and we had a great driver lineup. But that’s how it goes sometimes. After the guys got the car fixed, it drove incredibly well during my night stint. Our times were right there. It would have been a great fight.”
Despite the disappointing end to the season, Ende looks back happily on his ALMS season with RSR Racing. Ende’s limited program, which wasn’t solidified until after he joined the team for the 12 Hours of Sebring, yielded two wins at Lime Rock Park and Road America.
“When I look back on how the season went, I am very proud and happy to have had the chance to race with RSR Racing,” said Ende. “I went to Sebring this year to see some friends, with no idea I’d get to drive with Bruno Junquiera all year. I thought Sebring would be a one race deal, and then next thing I knew we were leading at Long Beach. I’m really thankful to him and Paul Gentilozzi. We led every race, won two of them – really, it should have been three – and we were competitive everywhere.”
Despite his limited season, Ende finished ninth in the Prototype Challenge championship standings. Ende will announce plans for the 2014 TUDOR United Sports Car Challenge in the coming weeks, which will begin at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25-26, 2014.
Source. Duncan Ende