Angelelli - Ford interview 2010-01-14

This Week in Ford Racing January 14, 2010 Max Angelelli, co-driver of the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara, posted the fastest speed during the three-day Grand-Am Rolex Series testing at Daytona International Speedway this past weekend. With...

This Week in Ford Racing
January 14, 2010

Max Angelelli, co-driver of the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara, posted the fastest speed during the three-day Grand-Am Rolex Series testing at Daytona International Speedway this past weekend. With the Rolex 24 Hour less than three weeks away, Angelelli talks about the new additions to the SunTrust team and how he is preparing for the season opener.

THIS PAST WEEKEND YOU TESTED IN DAYTONA. HOW DID THAT GO? "Yes, that was good. We had a good time and we're very happy. We're all very happy. All of the drivers did a great job. We were fast and the car did good. We are only allotted the test, so it was very nice to be there."

YOU HAVE A NEW TEAM MEMBER THIS YEAR WITH RICKY TAYLOR JOINING THE TEAM. "Yes, this is not the first time for him, and it's not the first season. He knows what he's doing, and he knows very well what he has to do, and I'm sure he will deliver. I'm really looking forward to the season with him."

YOU HAD A GREAT SEASON LAST YEAR, ENDING UP THIRD IN THE POINTS STANDINGS. DOES THAT MOMENTUM CARRY OVER GOING INTO THIS SEASON? "Yes, it does, because we did a lot of changes to the car during last year and now it's time to get a profit out of it. I feel the car is really ready to go. We don't need to develop new stuff, new things. The car is pretty much developed and it's really fast, so I'm really looking forward to this season."

ONE OF THE BIG CHANGES FOR YOU LAST YEAR WAS GOING TO THE ROUSH-YATES POWER WHICH YOU INTEGRETED INTO THE CAR. NOW IN THE SECOND YEAR WITH THAT, IS IT GOING TO BE A BIG PLUS? "It is. When SunTrust Racing decided to switch, I think that was a good call. We have a very good unit with the Ford engine, and the Roush-Yates engines. It's great, very powerful, and a good engine for the 24-Hour."

PEDRO LAMY IS JOINING THE SUNTRUST TEAM FOR THE 24 HOURS. CAN YOU GIVE A BRIEF BACKGROUND ON HIS RACING EXPERIENCE? "We raced together in Formula for three years 15 years ago, maybe more than that. Then we went up to Formula 3000 and this is where we split. I went to sports car racing and he made it to Formula 1. He did a couple of seasons in Formula 1 and then he went to Europe and raced in the Sports Car Championship in Europe. We called Pedro last year to race with us in the Rolex and he's a good partner. He has great experience in sports car and long distance races. He's a complete driver. He's very good for us."

NOT ONLY IS THE 24-HOUR AN ENDURANCE RACE, BUT YOU HAVE FOUR DIFFERENT DRIVERS THAT HAVE DIFFERENT STYLES FOR ONE VEHICLE. HOW TOUGH IS THAT? "It's a bit of a challenge. It's very difficult to make everybody happy. For sure you will have somebody unhappy, but it's a compromise. It's a compromise for the seat, it's a compromise for the position of the car, and it's a compromise for the set up of the car. It must fit four drivers, and we are all different. You have to find the best compromise for everybody. I think we have, and we pretty much know each other quite well, so it's more difficult when you have somebody coming from another configuring."

HOW MUCH DID THIS TEST THIS PAST WEEKEND HELP YOU, ESPECIALLY WITH WAYNE TAYLOR COMING BACK AND ADDING TWO NEW DRIVERS? "Since 1999 I have driven with Wayne, so that was not a problem for him to come back. With Ricky, we raced together two years ago, so we knew him, and Pedro was with us last year. We're back together, and it's not difficult with everyone on the same page."

HOW MUCH DID THIS TEST WEEKEND REALLY GO TOWARDS BUILDING FOR THE 24 HOURS ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU HAD SNOW, SLEET, AND COLD TEMPERATURES? "We tried everything. We ran in the rain, in the ice, in the snow, and in the sun. We tried everything. I really hope the weather is going to be warmer because I'm coming from Italy and that's snowy and it's white and cold. When I'm on the plane to come to the Rolex I'm not thinking about that, I'm thinking about Florida, and Florida is warm and sunny, even in January. When it was snowing there I couldn't believe it. I told everybody that at home and nobody believes me."

THE DAYTONA 24 IS THE BIG RACE THAT KICKS OFF THE SEASON, BUT YOU HAVE ALL SEASON TO MAKE A RUN FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT THAT? "Yes, we do. The Rolex is like a championship race and it does count in the final standings so we need to win. We want to win the race and we will take a risk, because winning the Rolex is really special. After the Rolex is like turning a new page in a book. Everything starts new again. It's like starting another season."

WHAT DO YOU DO THE NEXT FEW WEEKS TO REALLY PREPARE FOR DAYTONA? "I will not think about the race. I will not do anything related to the race; otherwise I'm going to come to it completely worn out. This is a race that you really have to think about it two days before the event because it's so intense. The way I am, I'll come to the race worn out if I spend all that time thinking. We're going to do what we're going to do and that's it. The testing is over, I'm flying out and I will not think about it."

SO DO YOU LET THE ENGINEERS FOCUS ON THE CAR AND DO THEIR JOB AND COME BACK TO DAYTONA READY TO DO YOURS? "Yes. That is my philosophy and what I will do. This is what fits for me. I'm sure it's going to be a great race. Don't forget, last year four cars after 24 hours fought for the lead and the win of the race. After 24 hours, we all fought together and we finished on the lead lap within a tenth of a second from each other. That was amazing and I'm sure it's going to be the same this year."

-source: ford racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Angelelli