Watkins Glen International
SunTrust Racing Takes the Win in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen; GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Finishes Third in DP; Autohaus Motorsports Continues Strong Performance in GT with Runner-up Finish
For the second consecutive week in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series competition, the No. 10 SunTrust Racing team of Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor stood a-top the podium as the race winners. It was Taylor who piloted the beautiful Chevrolet-powered Daytona Prototype (DP) Dallara race car of the Wayne Taylor-owned team to the checkered flag in the famed Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
The weekend got off to a fast start on Friday when Ricky and his brother Jordan Taylor led their respective classes in qualifying becoming the first brothers to win pole positions for both DP and Grand Touring (GT) classes at the same GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series event. Jordan was behind the wheel of No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R.
It was a race of drastic swings in the weather with the early part of the race under heavy rain giving way to sun and high humidity. R. Taylor was behind the wheel for stint number one of the six-hour race and quickly jumped out to the lead to serve notice to the competition the team was on a mission for another trip to victory lane. When Angelelli took the wheel for the long middle stint of the race, his experience and smooth driving style kept the team in or near the front of the field before Taylor climbed back in for the final run to the finish.
“It was another great day for Chevrolet,” said Jim Lutz, GM Racing Program Manager for Grand-Am Road Racing. “Congratulations to Wayne Taylor and his SunTrust Racing team on their second win of the year and to the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team on a strong podium run. It was a race that presented many challenges with the hard rain early on but our teams, as always, were well prepared for the changing conditions.”
The win jumped the No. 10 SunTrust Racing team to second in the standings with six of the season’s 12 races in the record books.
“I don’t even have words,” said RickyTaylor. “The car was so good, the SunTrust Chevy team is the best. We beat them (Chip Ganassi Racing/Scott Pruett) head-to-head. Max in the car was unstoppable really. I said on the radio during the last lap that the driving was the easy part. This team is awesome.
“This means a lot,” said Angelelli. “It means a lot. I am speechless. It’s so amazing this Chevy. I feel proud and thank Wayne and Shelley and Ricky Jordan for letting me be a part of the family.”
For Wayne Taylor, it was the first time his team has won the prestigious race and he was emotional in Victory Lane with his drivers.
“It is just unbelievable,” said Wayne Taylor. “Ricky so wanted to finish this race. He wanted to win it. He wanted to beat Pruett. Everybody has put so much into this team. Thanks to SunTrust, Toshiba and Chevrolet for sticking with us. We started out difficult this year. We always knew we had a fast car, we just couldn’t put it together. I am so relieved, so happy. I cannot tell you.”
The No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet/Riley with Alex Gurney and Jon Forgarty finished third today to stand on the podium and give Team Chevy two of the top-three in the DP class. The “Red Dragon” started the race fourth and the finish moved them to fifth in the team standings.
After qualifying in second position, The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet/Coyote suffered late-race mechanical problems to finish eighth in class. The team is ninth in the standings.
In GT, it was the No. 88 Autohaus Camaro GT.R driven by Bill Lester, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner battling for the lead from their number one starting position in the GT class. Milner was behind the wheel for the final stint. With the runner-up finish, the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports team now leads the GT team standings with half of the 2011 season completed.
“Every weekend, our teams continue to improve,” Lutz continued. “It is exciting to see Autohaus Motorsports at the top of the team standings. In the manufacturer standings, Chevrolet continues to gain ground in the Rolex Series.”
The No. 07 Banner Racing Camaro GT.R with drivers Oliver Gavin, Gunter Schaldach and Mike Skeen was fourth in GT at the conclusion of the tough six-hour race.
The Marsh Racing Corvette crossed the finish line sixth in class. Early unavoidable on-track contact for the No. 88 Stevenson Camaro GT.R sent them to the garage for a lengthy time to make repairs. The team returned to competition and was scored 14th in class at the checkered flag.
In the Continental Tire 150 for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Stevenson Motorsports with drivers Matt Bell and John Edwards scored a second place finish for the No. 9 Camaro GS.R team.
The No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R team was fifth at the finish with the No. 62 and No. 6 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R teams finishing in sixth and eighth places respectively.
“The Stevenson Motorsports Camaro was strong,” Lutz concluded. “It was a great finish in the Continental Tire 150 for our Camaro GS.R teams and we know a win is right around the corner.”
-source: team chevy