SunTrust Pontiac Second At Homestead Collins and Edwards Seventh In GXP.R GT The SunTrust Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype (DP) finished second today in round three of the Grand-Am Rolex Series Presented by Crown Royal Reserve Linder...
SunTrust Pontiac Second At Homestead
Collins and Edwards Seventh In GXP.R GT
The SunTrust Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype (DP) finished second today in round three of the Grand-Am Rolex Series Presented by Crown Royal Reserve Linder Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins held on to finish seventh in their No. 07 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R in GT.
Jan Magnussen started the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac from pole position, the third pole for Pontiac in as many races. The Dane turned the car over to teammate Max Angelleli early in the race so the Italian could maximize track time for the finish. Angelleli was able to lead much of the race, but seven caution periods and differing tire strategies kept him from the top step of the podium.
"It was a funny race with all of the caution periods," Angelleli said. "Auberlen surprised me coming up on me in turn six. He had a strong car at the end and we couldn't hold him off. We had a good strategy and we once again have to settle for a podium finish. We look good for the points, but we like to win."
Patrick Carpentier and teammate Milka Duno were able to come from their 16th place starting position to post a strong fourth place finish in DP.
"We had a great car today," Carpentier said. "I was able to gain positions on the restarts and the handling of the car was consistent all race. This track is really hard on the rear tires so I tried to pace myself and it paid off in the end. The team's strategy with all of the yellows was right on and we were able to stay up with the lead pack."
NASCAR driver Bill Lester was partnering Roger Schramm behind the wheel of the number 12 RVO Motorsports Pontiac Riley. Lester and Schramm were able to finish 17th.
"We had a pretty good day," Lester said. "Roger went off early and that put us down a few laps. We were a little loose at the entry to the turns, but we were able to get the power down at the exits. The team needs to work on the handling a little, but the pieces are there for a good car. I like to turn right once in a while. Next weekend I will be in Martinsville for the truck race."
The No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R driven by Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards dealt with contact all race. Collins was moved off line several times by other GT competitors. Despite the contact and a track that is tough on tries, Edwards was able to finish out the race with a seventh place finish.
"All the yellows really mixed up the field," Edwards said. "Cars were coming and going from the pits, with fresh tires, which gave them a lot of confidence that really didn't pay off. This track is really hard on our rear tires. We unfortunately got shuffled back a few times in those caution periods, other than that I think we had a top five car."
In the companion 06 Banner GXP.R, Leighton Reese and Tim Lewis Jr. were also dealing with a lot of on-track contact.
"I had some pretty hard contact in turn one, I was able to drive through the sand box and not get stuck," said Reese. "In the beginning of my stint, the car was really glued to the track. After the first caution it never really came back. Usually when you cool the tires down they respond for another few laps, it never really happened. Not a bad finish for such a crazy race."
The Racers Edge Motorsports crew brought their No. 30 Pontiac GXP.R home in 15th. Drivers Mark Pavan and Lawson Aschenbach soldiered through what began as a difficult weekend.
"We missed a lot track time early in the weekend," said Pavan. "As a result of limited laps we really didn't have the handling we needed to run further up the field. After about 12 laps I couldn't go through the high-bank flat, that really affects your speed down the front straight. I also had trouble getting the power down out of the slower corners. All in all it was an encouraging run for the whole team."
-credit: gm racing