ATLANTA, Ga. (December 17, 2003) -- SunTrust Racing announced today that it will kick off its assault on the 2004 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series championship with an impressive three-driver lineup at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Sports car ace Wayne Taylor will be joined by his long-time co-driver Max Angelelli and Frenchman Emmanuel Collard in the SunTrust Racing No. 10 Pontiac Riley Mk. XI during the twice-around-the-clock enduro, January 29 - February 1.
Taylor leads the three-driver lineup with his impressive endurance-racing resume. The South Africa-native took top honors in the 1996 Rolex 24 At Daytona and went on to score the overall win at Sebring later that year. In addition to being a two-time World Sports Car Championship winner (1994, 1996), Taylor won the prototype class at LeMans in 1998.
Taylor's last appearance in the Rolex 24 came in 1999, where he partnered with his teammate of the last five years, Angelelli, for the first time. The pair's Ferrari 333SP led the race before finishing second.
"(The Rolex 24 At Daytona is) among the toughest tests in the world of racing," said Taylor. "The banking and the fact that we run a far greater percentage of the race during darkness means that, in some respects, it's even rougher than the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I know, since I've won at both events."
Italian Angelelli cut his teeth in go-karts before moving into International Formula 3, where he won a spot on the factory VW team, as well as the prestigious Team West McLaren. Since then, Angelelli has served as a development driver for Cadillac's prototype-racing program.
Collard is also a Cadillac prototype-racing alumni, helping the program score its first-ever prototype podium finish. The Frenchman also took the class win at Sebring in 2001, in addition to past wins at the 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium).
Bill Riley, one of motorsports' top design engineers, will be in charge of the vehicle and crew for the effort.
"I've worked with Max and Emmanuel and Bill for many years now and can't name a better combination to take on such an extreme challenge of attacking the world's toughest sports car race with a brand new entry like ours. Of course I'd love to repeat either my '96 Rolex win or my '99 podium, but I'll be focusing on our pre-Rolex test program first," added Taylor.
The three drivers will make their first public appearance at the wheel of the No. 10 Pontiac Riley Mk. XI during Grand American Pre-Season Testing held at Daytona International Speedway, January 3-5. Immediately thereafter, the SunTrust Racing team will head to Savannah, Ga., for further development and work.
SunTrust Racing receives funding from SunTrust Banks, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. SunTrust Banks, Inc., (NYSE: STI) is one of the nation's largest and strongest financial holding companies. With $126.7 billion in assets and total deposits of $80.5 billion as of September 30, 2003, SunTrust's 1,200 retail branches and 2,229 ATMs are located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia.