Signing Reunites Former Winning Teammates Richard and Ende for Full 2012 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Season
Just two weeks after the announcement of the new Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing collaboration and its full-season participation in the 2012 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the team announced today the signing of Duncan Ende to partner lead driver and Silicon Tech Racing Founder and Principal Henri Richard as co-drivers in its Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) entry.
Ende, 26, is no stranger to success in the ALMS and joined Richard for a convincing GTC class victory in the 2010 Petit Le Mans, in addition to teaming with Richard in that year’s season-opening race at Sebring. Ende followed up 2010’s strong end-of-season result with three victories and an overall second-place finish in this year’s GTC championship.
“I’m very excited to see Duncan rejoin our team for the 2012 season,” Richard said. “We had a great time driving together in 2010 at Sebring and Petit Le Mans, and obviously the results at Petit spoke for themselves. Duncan is a young, talented, and extremely affable young man, and I believe he will represent the Silicon Tech Racing brand very well. He’ll be a great asset to us on and off the track, and I look forward to the coming season.”
Ende, who lives in Los Angeles, is coming off of a five-year campaign in GT competition, most notably in Porsche GT3s in the ALMS and GRAND-AM Road Racing ranks. His return to prototype competition is in many ways a return to his roots. As Ende is no stranger to lightweight, downforce-oriented vehicles. He began his career in the Skip Barber National Series, graduated to Formula Atlantic and made his first big impression with five victories in the 2006 IMSA Lites series, driving a car that shares a similar but downsized resemblance to the Oreca FLM09 he will drive in 2012.
Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing’s immediate goal is to win the 2012 ALMS LMPC championship while setting the foundation for expanded international motorsports programs in the coming years. The new collaboration marks Dempsey Racing’s first ALMS prototype effort and continues the momentum of Silicon Tech Racing’s successful 2011 season that saw the team take part in every major North American sports car endurance race and Richard capture the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series MESCO Building for the Future Rookie of the Year Award. In the past four racing seasons, STR’s results include multiple victories in ALMS and numerous top-10 finishes in the Ferrari Challenge, the Porsche Cup Asia and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series.
"I know Henri was looking for a skilled young driver to partner him in 2012 and it sounds like he's made a great choice in Duncan,” Dempsey said. “He and Spencer Pumpelly got some great results last season and we're happy to add him to the fold."
Established in 2003 as Hyper Sport, Dempsey Racing has operated from its Atlanta base for the last nine years, primarily focusing on the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series with a fulltime Mazda GT program since 2008. The team fielded a two-car GT effort the last two seasons and posted its first win on the NASCAR short-course race at Watkins Glen in August of 2010. Foster also co-drove with Scott Maxwell to the 2008 GRAND-AM Koni Challenge Series Grand Sport (GS) class championship. A founding objective of Dempsey Racing was to ultimately expand to a multi-faceted motorsports program with teams competing in several different racing series, and the Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing relationship is a major step in that direction.
“The new relationship with Henri and Silicon Tech Racing is the first step in reaching one of our primary goals for Dempsey Racing, which is to expand our business operations into additional and international racing series,” Foster said. “We remain committed to Mazda and our GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series program as well, but the news that Duncan has joined Henri for the new LMPC effort is another huge boost for our latest endeavor.”
Teaming together initially with Silicon Tech Racing, both Richard and Ende share a strong bond as co-drivers who also recognize the business needs required to stay in the sport. With Silicon Tech Racing specializing in cementing B2B relationships by means of executive entertainment and hospitality, the platform which Richard has created lends a perfect opportunity for Ende and his sponsors. An opportunity to reunite with Richard and Silicon Tech Racing, especially when highlighted by Dempsey Racing’s involvement, is a welcome one for Ende.
“I couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Henri and Dempsey Racing in the American Le Mans Series next season,” said Ende. “It was a difficult decision to move away from GTC but everything fell into place to run LMPC and I’m really looking forward to this new incredibly competitive challenge. I want to thank TRG and particularly my friend Spencer Pumpelly for a great 2011 season”
Additionally in 2012, Silicon Tech Racing will continue its partnership with several key organizations that have been instrumental in the team’s previous successes. Future Electronics and Hewlett Packard will both continue to leverage Silicon Tech Racing business to business platform as Platinum sponsors and Freescale will also renew its technical partnership.
Ende will also continue to race for a cause in 2012 and will retain his partnership with STANDD (Stop Texting and Distracted Driving) next season. Formed by Indiana resident Diveeta Thompson, who lost her son in a tragic distracted driving incident in 2008, the mission of STANDD is to promote awareness of distracted driving to teens and adults nationwide. With a personal affinity for the cause, Duncan is a known promoter of the cause by running an anti-distraction pledge campaign at race tracks and supporting venues across the county.
Plans for Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing include taking delivery of a new Oreca FLM-09 and a comprehensive testing plan prior to the season-opening 2012 Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. Richard and Ende will sample the team’s new car likely for the first time at the annual Sebring Winter Test, February 8 – 9, 2012, before he and Richard tackle the 60th running of the 12 Hour classic, March 14 – 17, 2012.