SunTrust Racing completes initial test in Savannah
Two days at Savannah's Roebling Road; then on to full-scale wind tunnel.
Savannah, Ga. (Jan. 9, 2004) -- On Monday, January 5, after their rollout test in Daytona, Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and the SunTrust racing team headed straight for Savannah's Roebling Road Raceway for two days of development work in preparation for their Grand Am debut in the upcoming Rolex 24 Hour race.
There the team focused on engine mapping (tuning) both for power for the high banks of Daytona and fuel economy to maximize time between pit stops. The latter factor is a key strategic element for success in long-distance sports car racing, especially a twice-round the clock event like the Rolex.
Both drivers spent time behind the wheel of the SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley Mk. 11. Team principal Wayne Taylor described the tests as quite positive. "We had some mapping issues at Daytona which really should have been resolved at a pre-Daytona test, but that was impossible because we literally only took delivery of the race car at Daytona. In Savannah, we had more time and a better opportunity to work on responsiveness and I can say that Max and I are really pleased with the new car's response to changes and with the progress we made in the engine department."
Bill Riley, who is engineering the car for the season, took the SunTrust Riley to the Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel in Virginia yesterday in an effort to establish some aerodynamic marks for further tuning and development.
Riley Motorsport, as well as many top NASCAR teams, employs the Langley Tunnel because of its capability to test the actual race car rather than a model. It has a test section that is 80 -ft. long, 122-ft. wide and 72 ft. high!
At the end of the Savannah test, Bill Riley expressed his confidence saying, "We have a very good race car. I'm also encouraged at the speed achieved by the Chip Ganassi Racing team Riley Mk.11 in Daytona this week. It shows we'll be competitive. Despite our lack of pre-Daytona testing time, I'm confident we'll be right there when we return to Daytona later this month."