SUNTRUST RACING LEADS FORD-POWERED MACHINES WITH FOURTH-PLACE FINISH AT 24 HOURS AT DAYTONA
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, (January 25, 2009) -- Another 24 hours at Daytona is in the racing books, and after a long day and eventful night of racing, it was SunTrust and Wayne Taylor Racing that led the way for the seven Ford-powered machines entered into the famous endurance race.
"We are happy coming out of here in fourth place," said Wayne Taylor, team owner and driver of the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Riley. "We got good points and we know now we have a good package. We have run 24 Hours so we should be able to finish the 2:45 [races]; our sites are on the championship. That is what it is all about for us."
This was the first race with Ford power for Wayne Taylor Racing after making the switch from Pontiac last season.
"Coming out of last year, we really had an up and down year but we ended on a pretty high note, continued Taylor. "Coming to a 24 Hour with a car you have never actually run for 24 hours is a challenge. Add to that the change in engine manufacturer switching to Ford power and that was another massive change so coming in there were a lot of unknowns.
"Last night about four or five hours in, John Maddox [Roush Yates Manager of Cammer Engine Programs] told me that it was possible that none of the Ford engines might finish. We spent about an hour talking about it amongst everyone and realized it was negative energy. We decided there was no point in worrying about it because if it was going to happen it was going to happen. So we said lets go race. If you take that perspective then this fourth-place finish is great, but we come here to win. We knew we couldn't do anything about it so we just decided to fight and go race. Maybe we got lucky or maybe there wasn't any problem at all."
The rest of the Ford machines weren't as fortunate as the SunTrust No. 10 to complete the entire race with the other six Ford entries experiencing the same electrical issue, resulting in early exits from the race.
"Our preliminary indications are that a common component failure related to the electrical systems was the problem in six of the Ford powered cars during the race," said Pat DiMarco, Ford Racing vehicle dynamics and electronics supervisor. "The lone Ford-powered car to finish the race, the SunTrust Racing entry, was running the same part as the other Ford cars batch that failed during the race. We will continue to investigate this problem and work to correct the problem for the next race."
QUOTES FROM THE GARAGE:
David Brown -- Team Manager, Krohn Racing:
"The information that we have received from our engine tuner is that we suffered the same failure in the No. 75 car as we suffered earlier in the No. 76 car, as well as, we believe now, the 60 and the 6 and the 61 car, which is a crank sensor trigger failure inside the engine. It requires the removal of the engine, stripping of the front of the engine, stripping the front of the spare engine, taking the old part out of that and put that in the engine of the car. By the time we've done that, we will be in exactly the same position that we are now if we don't run again. Therefore, there is no point in running. Very, very disappointing though it is, this is the end of our 24 Hours of Daytona."
Eric van de Poele -- co-driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford Lola:
The car was perfect when I restarted for my stint. We changed the aero a little bit for the car. I was right behind the Ganassi car and I was going to pass it on the straight. It would have been the first time in two years. It would have been perfect. When I moved away to make the pass, the engine just shut off. I had just enough time to dive into the pits and to coast to the garage."
A.J. Allmendinger -- co-driver No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley:
"I hate it for the team because this is a great group and Mike Shank does a great job so this is really disappointing. We weren't even pushing and the car was just so easy to drive that all we were doing was keeping to plan and setting a pace. This team works so hard, and that's why I keep coming back. I hate this, but I want to come back and win that (Rolex) watch. I know this team is going to be strong again this year but unfortunately we wont be getting them the start to the season that we were looking to."
James Pew -- co-driver No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley:
"This car is such a pleasure to drive-I did my fastest lap ever here (at Daytona) in just my fifth lap of practice this weekend, so to not even get to drive in the race is really a disappointment. We were doing exactly what we needed to do, and I was really looking forward to taking the car over in the lead but unfortunately just didn't get the chance. We had a great run here last year and there was no reason to think that we couldn't have been strong again this weekend but we just didn't get the racing luck to fall our way. But we are looking forward to the rest of the season. It's been great to have Michael [Valiante] join us and the engineers have really made a lot of progress with this car."
Michael Shank -- Team Owner, Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley entries:
"This is a huge disappointment for us because we've never had any kind of problem like this before, and to have both team cars get knocked out while running so strong is just a punch in the gut. If we weren't going to win this race, we wanted at least to start off right in the championship with some good points so unfortunately that's not the way it played out tonight."
-credit: ford racing