Daytona 24: SunTrust Racing preview

SunTrust Racing Team Up for the Challenge of the Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona, Florida (February 2, 2005) -- This year's Rolex 24 at Daytona is set to have one of the most talented line-up of drivers in its 43-year history. The Grand American...

SunTrust Racing Team Up for the Challenge of the Rolex 24 at Daytona

Daytona, Florida (February 2, 2005) -- This year's Rolex 24 at Daytona is set to have one of the most talented line-up of drivers in its 43-year history. The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series boasts an entry of 29 Daytona Prototype machines and 33 GT racers for a total of 62 cars for the twice-around-the-clock enduro.

The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley Mk.11 hopes to lead that stellar field at the point it counts most -- when the checkered flag falls. SunTrust's talented drivers Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Emmanuel Collard come together again as teammates to battle sports car, open wheel and NASCAR drivers alike in the historic race. Angelelli turned the fastest time of the weekend at Daytona Test Days in early January, putting the other drivers on alert.

Bill Riley and his Riley Technologies team have revised the Riley chassis from last year and came to Daytona Test Days well prepared. Additionally wind tunnel testing and some small tweaking lends to a confident team for the 24-hour classic endurance race.

"We come to Daytona as prepared as we can be," said Bill Riley, SunTrust Racing team owner. "Of course, it's a 24-hour race and one never knows what might be thrown at you during those 24 hours. We're ready for most anything and excited to be going racing."

"It's always great to start the season at Daytona," said SunTrust Racing car owner/driver Wayne Taylor, winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 1996. "This is one of the biggest races in the world. We have a lot of tough competition facing us this weekend. Our team is well-prepared though and Max, Manu and I have done a lot of endurance racing, so we're ready."

"We are glad to be back at Daytona with our SunTrust racing team," said John Mauney, Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing Services for SunTrust Bank. "We came so close to winning last year. Maybe Lady Luck will smile on us a little brighter this year. We know we have the talent in the drivers and the team. But, as everyone knows, 24 hours is a long time to race flat-out around a road course. There are so many variables. "

"Everyone is saying we are the favorite, but I think there are at least ten favorites that didn't really show it at the test, but we know they are strong," said hotshoe Italian driver Max Angelelli.

"I feel like we are one of the favorites, but we are not the favorite. If the weather will be constant and not challenge us, I think everything will be related to traffic and driver behavior with traffic. We know we have a good, fast competitive car for Daytona, but a lot is up to the drivers. Because of traffic issues, much depends on the drivers. This is a very challenging race for the drivers. Even being the favorite does not mean we will dominate the race. I see Daytona 2005 will be the best ever and the driver field speaks for itself. Everything will make our job even more difficult."

The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley Mk.11 team was second in last year's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Team Championship and Wayne Taylor finished second in the Driver's Championship. Angelelli was fourth in the Driver's Championship in a season that saw three victories, one pole, nine podium finishes and eight fastest lap records to add to his statistics.

"I expect a lot because we have got a good car like last year," said Frenchman Emmanuel Collard, a three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Spa. "I think it will be a good chance for us to do something good this year. The competition will be very strong because during the last test we saw that. It will be competitive this year for sure."

The 43rd annual running of the twice-around-the-clock endurance race, which will get the green at 12:00 noon this year, will be televised for 14 hours on the Speed Channel. The broadcast will be as follows: Saturday, February 5th 12:00-7:00 p.m. and 8:00-11:00 p.m., Sunday, February 6th 8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the nation's largest commercial banking organizations. As of December 31, 2004, SunTrust had total assets of $159.1 billion and total deposits of $103.4 billion. The company operates an extensive distribution network primarily in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emmanuel Collard , Wayne Taylor , Max Angelelli