The No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Saturday's GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Prix of Miami from the inside of the third row after qualifying Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Ricky Taylor, the...
The No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Saturday's GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Prix of Miami from the inside of the third row after qualifying Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ricky Taylor, the 20-year-old son of three-time sports car racing champion and team owner Wayne Taylor, made the most of his first qualifying effort for the SunTrust team, lapping the 3.56-mile, 11-turn speedway road circuit in 1 minute, 12.282 seconds (114.551 mph) during the 15-minute session to place fifth among 34 car-and-driver combinations that will take part in Saturday's 2-hour, 45-minute race. The younger Taylor became fulltime co-driver to Italian driving ace Max Angelelli this season, his third in the Rolex Series after debuting with the SunTrust team at the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"The car hasn't been great in practice, so far, but you can usually count on being able to at least pull out a good qualifying lap," said Taylor, who will start Saturday's race -- the 22nd Rolex Series event of his young career -- and then hand the SunTrust car over to Angelelli for the sprint to the finish. "With the engineering resources we have here between our own and the people from Dallara, I think the car was pretty strong for qualifying, as usual. We have some work to do before the race, but I think Travis (Jacobson, technical director) and the Dallara guys are going to work out a good plan. I trust them to figure it out. I'll have to say the butterflies were working before the session for me. It was just a little bit of nerves just because I wanted to do a good job for SunTrust and for the team, to make sure I could qualify the car where it is capable of qualifying. I'm looking forward to the start of the race tomorrow."
Darren Law, in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche Riley, blazed to a fast lap of 1:11.806 (115.311 mph) to earn the pole position for Saturday's race. That ended a personal five-race pole qualifying streak by Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley. Fogarty, who qualified second today, put the No. 99 car on the pole at the final five events last season. The car did not run either of the two qualifying sessions for this year's season-opening Rolex 24 after it crashed heavily in practice.
"Let's just say I'm relieved," said Wayne Taylor, who won the 2005 Grand Prix of Miami co-driving with Angelelli en route to that season's Rolex Series championship. "For whatever reason, we seem to have a problem with tires at this track, as you saw with us in the race here last October. We have a similar situation here this weekend. Considering the lack of time Ricky's had in this car with this team -- basically the 24-hour race and one test -- and the fact we seemed to be struggling in the practice session just prior to qualifying, I think the SunTrust team responded magnificently, as usual, with all the changes we needed to make to enable Ricky to put in a solid qualifying lap. The car's not quite where we want it to be for the race, but we have time in final practice Saturday (35 minutes) to get it all sorted out."
-source: suntrust racing