SunTrust Racing Wins at Watkins Glen; Autohaus Motorsports Moves Into GT Points Lead

Victory lane: DP and overall winners Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor celebrate with Wayne Taylore
Victory lane: DP and overall winners Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor celebrate with Wayne Taylore

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 13, 2011) – Max Angelelli finished what Ricky Taylor started as the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Dallara Daytona Prototype (DP) started from the pole and won the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Canadian Tire 200 at Watkins Glen International on Saturday. Angelelli finished 2.517 seconds ahead of Scott Pruett as SunTrust Racing led 77 of the 100 laps en route to its third victory of the season. Ricky Taylor won the pole for the sixth consecutive race, one shy of the all-time DP record, and led the first 33 laps.

“Today was really just perfect,” Ricky Taylor said. “In qualifying the car was great, and then for the race, it’s much easier when you can just kind of control the race from the front and kind of manage the gap and everything.”

Angelelli led twice for 44 laps.

“That was a close call,” Angelelli said. “You really had to time traffic, and it was really difficult to predict. As everybody knows, Scott is a master around traffic. It was really difficult. I have to give credit to the entire SunTrust racing team.”

The No. 88 Autohaus Camaro GT.R, driven by Bill Lester and Jordan Taylor, finished second in the Grand Touring (GT) class to move into the points lead with two races remaining.

“It was definitely a good day for the points,” Jordan Taylor said. “We came in one point back, and we knew it was going to be tough. We knew we had our work cut out for us. I think Bill passed eight cars in the first lap, so we really couldn’t ask for much more.”

“We definitely did not roil off when the green flag fell, like we should’ve,” Lester said. “I had some misfortune yesterday in qualifying. I felt terrible about it and was going to do my absolute best to kind of make up as much as I could. We did pretty well in that first stint, and made up a few positions, from what I’m told.

“[Jordan] did just a masterful job of coming up all the way through the pack. He’s a little bit disappointed about not getting the win, but we’re looking at big-picture racing, and we’re pretty ecstatic right now with leading the points.”

In addition to the points lead in GT, Chevrolet power now has four victories in DP.

“It ended up pretty good, overall,” said Jim Lutz, Grand-Am Program Manager for GM Racing. “Congratulations to the SunTrust team. Not only did it sit on the pole, but basically led the race, and held off a charge from Scott Pruett and the Ganassi team. And the second-place finish by the No. 88 Autohaus GT.R Camaro now puts them up ahead in the driver and team points championship.”

The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Chevrolet/Coyote DP finished 10th, four laps off the pace.

The No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet/Riley DP spun and wrecked on lap nine and did not return. They were scored with a 12th place finish in class.

The No. 07 Banner Racing Camaro GT.R finished ninth in class.

The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R led 50 laps but a problem with the driveline ended its day on lap 76 with a 20th place finish in class.

The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series continues next weekend in Montreal

“Now, everybody’s got to work hard,” Lutz said. “We’ve only got a couple of days to re-prep these cars and fix them, and then we’ll do it all again next Saturday in Montreal.”