Watkins Glen: SunTrust Racing preview

SunTrust Racing Team Adds Briscoe for Watkins Glen Six Hours Watkins Glen, New York (May 31, 2006) -- The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series begins the second half of the 2006 season with Round 8 of 14 races this weekend with the Sahlen's...

SunTrust Racing Team Adds Briscoe for Watkins Glen Six Hours

Watkins Glen, New York (May 31, 2006) -- The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series begins the second half of the 2006 season with Round 8 of 14 races this weekend with the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen race on Saturday, June 3, at the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International long circuit.

The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team dominated at Watkins Glen International last year by winning two of three races and going on to capture the 2005 Daytona Prototype Team and Driver Championships.

"Watkins Glen is my favorite track in North America," said SunTrust car owner/driver Wayne Taylor. "I've always loved The Glen because it's a real race track. But the six hour is the race that has eluded us, which is why we hope this weekend will turn that around."

In addition to the championship-winning Grand American driving duo of Taylor and Max "The Ax" Angelelli, the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley line-up for Watkins Glen will include open wheel stand-out Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe previously was part of the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona campaign for the defending winners, along with Emmanuel Collard. Unfortunately, Briscoe never got a chance to race after the team was forced to withdraw following a collision with a GT car just four hours into the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

"It's extremely exciting for me to be back with the SunTrust Racing team," said Australian Ryan Briscoe. "The 24 hours was definitely a disappointment since we had the lead and, in the end, I didn't get to drive. This weekend is a great chance to come back and get a good result for the team. Watkins Glen is one of my most favorite circuits in the world, so I'm really looking forward to it. I have never raced at The Glen, only tested there and loved the place. The SunTrust team has been one of the fastest teams in the last few races. It is definitely one of the teams that are a force to be reckoned with for the Six Hours this weekend."

"It will be good to get back to Watkins Glen to race. I like the circuit and it suits my style of racing," said Italian Max Angelelli. "It will be particularly great to have Ryan racing with us. With the three of us pushing hard, maybe we can finally get the six hour win that Wayne has been seeking for so long at The Glen."

"Watkins Glen is always one of our strongest race tracks," added Bill Riley, who oversees the preparation and running of the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley. "We have a real solid set-up for the track which we haven't changed much over the last few years. Wayne and Max do well at The Glen and it will be good to have Ryan as the third driver. Our main concern is how tough the competition will be out there."

Rain was a big factor on the results of the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen race in 2005, in which the SunTrust team finished sixth overall in the sixth race of the season.

"Last year at the Six Hours, we felt that we had the car to win the race," added Riley. "Unfortunately, we had problems with a set of rain tires but we learned a lot from the past. We will be able to use that information this year if we run into more rain for the race."

"We are used to rain at Watkins Glen," said Taylor. "When have we been to Watkins Glen when there isn't rain? Everyone is in the same boat though...excuse the pun."

The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team has made great strides in the past three races, with the help of the qualifying race format awarding extra points and a victory. Going into Round Five at Virginia International Raceway, the SunTrust team was in 11th place in the 2006 point standings. After a second-place finish and solid qualifying position, the team departed in the Top Ten. Then a victory at Laguna Seca, after starting from the fifth qualifying position, moved the team up to sixth position in the standings. A fourth-place finish at Phoenix and a third-place qualifying position elevated the defending championship SunTrust Racing team to third place in the 2006 championship standings.

"This championship is so tough and so strong," said Riley. "We need to fight as hard as we can for the remaining races. One bit of bad luck can change things. The championship is not won until the last race. Since we are trailing in the championship, we can be a bit more aggressive to get to the front."

"The season started out rough for us and it took until VIR to turn around," added Taylor. "We got back into the championship run with third place now. The guys are working hard. It's still a long way to go this year though."

"Anything can happen in a championship, as we have seen," added Angelelli. "We are just halfway through the season. It's a very competitive season at that. In September we'll know more."

The Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen endurance race will be televised live on SPEED on Saturday, June 3 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

-suntrustracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emmanuel Collard , Wayne Taylor , Max Angelelli , Ryan Briscoe