SunTrust Racing Team Wins 43rd Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona, Florida (February 6, 2005) - The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley team of Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Emmanuel Collard won this weekend's prestigious 43rd annual Rolex...
SunTrust Racing Team Wins 43rd Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona
Daytona, Florida (February 6, 2005) - The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley team of Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Emmanuel Collard won this weekend's prestigious 43rd annual Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance classic race. Deemed as a favorite going into the race, the team felt confident in their preparation by Bill Riley and his Riley Technologies team, yet with trepidation of facing the talented driver line-up of the over 250 driver entries.
"This is just so incredible," said the now two-time Rolex 24 winner, Wayne Taylor. "It's great to win again, for sure. But to be honest, I'm happier for Max and Manu. This is their first Daytona 24 victory and they really deserve it. They are great drivers and the best teammates."
"There were so many big name drivers that were here from NASCAR, IRL, Formula One, everywhere. And they're superstars in their own right," added Taylor, who lives in nearby Altamonte Springs, Florida. "Sports car drivers are not really that well know at all. So, to beat them all made it that much better. Not that I don't think they're any quicker than us, because they are all good in their own right. But, I think we had a better combination than they did. They have big purses and we really don't do it for money. We do it for the love of sports car racing."
"I really thought this was our perfect race," said Bill Riley, SunTrust Racing team owner. "All the pit stops were smooth. The engine cover never came off. We had an accident where the nose had to come off, but that was the only thing that wasn't working. Brake changes were exceptional, all the drivers were great. It was just the perfect race."
"This is very nice to win at Daytona," said Emmanuel Collard. "It is an important race and we have a very good team. The car was good the whole race. We had good braking and the gear box was perfect. I had a little accident and went off (when he and a Porsche GT car came together on Lap 474 and the team lost three laps), but we made that up. Everyone worked very hard to get this.
"Me and my teammates did a great job, fantastic job," ," said Max "The Axe" Angelelli, who had the pleasure of driving the SunTrust racer across the finish line at the 24-hour mark, 710 laps after starting the race from the outside pole position shortly after 12:00 noon Saturday. "I am amazed how quick Bill Riley managed to get back the two laps that we lost during the night. They did a fantastic job. They were the ones that won the race."
"The win is really sweet for SunTrust, but we already have a winning program with Wayne Taylor and his team," said John Mauney, Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing Services for SunTrust Bank. "We're just really happy for Wayne, Emmanuel and Max and Bill because they have worked so hard every race to win. And it's time for them to win and they deserve this. We're just really pleased for them. SunTrust could not be more excited with the program overall, with or without this win."
"This was like a dream come true," said George Koehn, Chairman, President and CEO, SunTrust Bank, Florida. "To come together after just over a year and win this race is an excellent example of real teamwork. Teamwork was really there with Wayne, Max and Emmanuel. It all worked like a Swiss watch. We had a little bit of luck also. If there is ever a question about SunTrust being involved with this program, today's results validated that and validates the brand. I'm excited for the program going forward."
The SunTrust trio led the race for 282 of the 710 total laps in a race which saw 44 car lead changes and 47 driver lead changes. Angelelli lead the most laps with 151. He also clocked the fastest lap of the twice-around-the-clock endurance race with a 1:47.339, a 105.204 average speed, on lap 368, at approximately 12:45 a.m.
The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley Mk.11 team starts off the new year right and now leads this season's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Team and Driver's Championship with 35 points. They fell just shy of the 2004 championships by a mere ten points.