CHEVY GRAND-AM AT ROLEX 24 HOUR AT DAYTONA: CORVETTE DAYTONA PROTOTYPE QUALIFIES ON FRONT ROW AT ROLEX 24
Max Angelelli and No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP Second-Fastest in Qualifying
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2012) – Max Angelelli, driving the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette Daytona Prototype, qualified on the outside the front row on Thursday for this weekend’s 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The former class winner (2005) of the famed endurance race will be starting the Rolex 24 at Daytona from the front row for the sixth time.
“It is really fast,” Angelelli said of his Corvette DP following his fast lap of 1:41.240 seconds (126.590 mph) at Daytona International Speedway. “I still feel that for the 24 Hour, we will be the car to beat.”
Three other Corvette Daytona Prototypes – the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP driven by Alex Gurney(fourth), the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP driven by Antonio Garcia (fifth) and the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP driven by Joao Barbosa (seventh) – qualified among the top 10 in the Daytona Prototype (DP) class. The fifth entrant, the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, did not make a qualifying run after being involved in an incident late in the second practice.
“While there are definitely bragging rights that come with winning the pole, starting on the pole isn't really that important for a 24 hour race,” said Mark Kent, GM Racing Director. “While some of our teams were working towards winning the pole, most of them were using the session to work on their race set-ups. I am confident that, when the green flag drops on Saturday, our teams will be very competitive in race trim. We look forward to a great race and a good showing from all of the Chevrolets."
The Corvette Daytona Prototype is making its competition debut this weekend in the 50th anniversary of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series endurance race at the 12-turn, 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway. The Corvette DP was unveiled at the track in November 2011.
"We are very excited with what we have seen with the new Corvette – both with how it looks and how it performs,” Kent said. “It is truly a fan favorite here at Daytona. We are looking forward to a close race and we hope to give the fans something to cheer about in this debut of the Chevrolet Corvette Prototype.”
“We feel pretty strong with our SunTrust Corvette,” Angelelli said. “We made a lot of changes and we feel positive, but it is 24 hours, it is Daytona and anything can happen.”
In the Grand Touring (GT) class, Jordan Taylor, driver of the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R, paced Chevrolet’s efforts by qualifying eighth in class with a fast lap time of 1:49.773 (116.750). Other Chevrolet qualifiers: Eric Curran, driver of the No. 75 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R, 13th; Robin Liddell, driver of the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports GT.R, 16th; and Ray Mason, driver of the No. 46 Corvette Michael Baughman Racing, 42nd.
In the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Eric Curran, driver of the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R, qualified fourth in the Grand Sport (GS) class with a lap of 1:58.497 (108.155 mph). He was followed by Matt Bell in the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R (fifth) and Gunter Schaldach in the No. 62 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R (sixth). Aaron Steele, driver of the No. 6 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R, qualified 34th. The No. 00 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R did not make a qualifying run.
“Our GS teams had a strong showing in qualifying for the tomorrow's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race,” Kent said. “This season-opening race is only 2½ hours long, so starting near the front is important. We look forward to an exciting race and hope the Chevrolet Camaros are able to capitalize from starting near the front of the field.”