Watkins Glen: SunTrust Racing qualifying report

The SunTrust Racing driving trio of Max Angelelli, Jonathan Cochet and Wayne Taylor will start Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen from the outside of the second row after practice and qualifying Friday at ...

The SunTrust Racing driving trio of Max Angelelli, Jonathan Cochet and Wayne Taylor will start Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen from the outside of the second row after practice and qualifying Friday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International Raceway.

Angelelli drove the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley of Wayne Taylor Racing to a fast lap of 1 minute, 44.529 seconds (an average of 117.097 mph) around the historic 3.4-mile Watkins Glen circuit, good for fourth-fastest among 45 car-and-driver combinations entered in Saturday's annual six-hour marathon.

Currently second in the series point standings, five points behind leader Scott Pruett of the Telmex Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team, Angelelli is co-driving for the first time this weekend with Cochet, who's filling in for regular SunTrust Racing co-driver Jan Magnussen, and with his longtime friend, 2005 series co-champion and now-team-owner Wayne Taylor. Magnussen is participating in a Danish Touring Car Championship race in his native Denmark this weekend while Cochet is on loan from the factory Courage team that is preparing for next weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans in his native France.

"It could have been better -- qualifying fourth is a little disappointing," said Angelelli, who co-drove with Taylor to victory twice at Watkins Glen in 2005, in both the 200- and 250-mile sprint races that year. "I think fourth is probably good considering we are struggling a little bit right now. I think the good news here this weekend is that it's a six-hour race, we have three drivers, and anything can happen. Hopefully, what happens is a victory for the SunTrust team."

"I think everything is going okay," Cochet said. "I have spent the last two days basically learning the track because it is my first time here. The first part of the circuit is very straightforward and was very easy to learn. It has taken a little time to learn the slow corners. Now that I have learned the entire track, I will keep improving lap after lap through (final) practice and during the race. When you arrive at a very good team like this one, you can improve very quickly. We will talk about our strategy tonight so we will know how we will approach the race. We will try to do the maximum to finish in the front and not make any mistakes. It's a long race, and I have a lot of experience in long races. I know you cannot afford to make mistakes. It's a longer race and it is not as important to start on the pole. We have a good starting position, regardless, on the second row, and our job will be to stay near the front until the last part of the race and then fight for the win."

"Obviously, Jonathan's come on board and has joined the mix," Taylor said. "It's a difficult track to learn but he's doing a good job. We qualified fourth and Max is not happy with that. But, really, we have to think about the championship, to think about the points. Clearly, at the moment, we don't have a car that looks like it can win, so we have to work harder and get through the race tomorrow. I have no doubt the guys will give it their all. And they have made the difference for us in situations like this in the past. With a six-hour race, a lot can happen. We threw away a lot of points last race (at Laguna Seca). So, among other things, we have to get those points back."

-credit: srt

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jonathan Cochet , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Max Angelelli , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Wayne Taylor Racing