Angelelli Sets Second Fastest Time in SunTrust Pontiac Riley for Rolex 24 At Daytona Qualifying Grand American Assesses Penalty and Sends No. 10 Car to Back of Field Daytona Beach, Florida (January 26, 2006) - Today's qualifying session for...
Angelelli Sets Second Fastest Time in SunTrust Pontiac Riley for Rolex 24 At Daytona Qualifying
Grand American Assesses Penalty and Sends No. 10 Car to Back of Field
Daytona Beach, Florida (January 26, 2006) - Today's qualifying session for the 44th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway, proved again that Max "The Ax" Angelelli is consistently one of the fastest drivers in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. He qualified the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley on the front row, in the second position. Unfortunately, following a post-qualifying technical inspection, the 2005 Daytona Prototype championship winning team was assessed a technical infraction.
Official word from the sanctioning body, the Grand American Road Racing Association, stated that the overall car width was too wide. The jabroc (front end splitter extension undertray) was deemed 3/16 inches too wide. This was the first technical penalty assessed to the SunTrust Racing Team since it began competition in January 2004.
"It's a real shame because qualifying was so tough," said SunTrust Pontiac car owner/driver Wayne Taylor. "Max was P-8, P-9, P-10 for most of the session and right at the very end he really pushed hard to get that lap to put us at P-2 (second position). This would make it the third time for this race (the Rolex 24 At Daytona) for the team to start on the outside front row. With this issue with the jabroc being 3/16ths too wide, we have to move to the back of the grid and we will investigate the issue. However, I understood that the car went through tech (technical inspection) prior to qualifying and it was fine. It's no good doing anything now other than planning how we're going to get back to the front."
"It was a real shame. We went through Tech (inspection) and we're just 3/16th too wide. But the rule got overlooked when we put the car together, so it's really our fault," said Bill Riley, owner of Riley Technologies, who spearheads the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team effort. "It's just a real shame because Max did such a great drive to get us up to second. Unfortunately, we're going to have to lean on him more in the race to get up to the front."
Due to the penalty, the defending champions of the 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona will start the race from the 31st position on the grid. They will have the option to requalify in tomorrow's qualifying session, with the possibility of advancing their starting position as high as the 28th position. Following a scheduled engine change tonight and tomorrow morning, the team will make the determination. Fortunately, after the green flag drops on Saturday, Angelelli, Taylor and co-drivers, Emmanuel Collard and Ryan Briscoe, will have 24 hours to bring the car up through the field to be in contention for a second consecutive victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"At the Rolex 24 you must always be fast. It is 24 hour flat out for me personally," said Angelelli. "It will be a sprint race all the way this weekend, same as last year. I will push from lap one to the finish."
"Three years in a row we've never had a problem with our engine and in a 24-hour race reliability is the most important thing. We're confident in our package. I think the #01 and #02 Lexus Rileys are cars to watch, along with the Porsche Crawford and the Pontiac Crawford of (Andy) Wallace and (Burch) Leitzinger (along with Tony Stewart)," added the popular Italian.
The 44th annual running of the twice-around-the-clock endurance race will start at noon this Saturday. The Speed Channel broadcast will include 13 hours as follows: Saturday, January 28th from 12:00 noon - 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m., and Sunday, January 29 from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.
Thursday Practice Session #1: The SunTrust Pontiac Riley team focused on set-up with Wayne Max and Emmanuel driving the car. Max set the second fastest time with a 144.872 at 122.206 mph.
Thursday Practice Session #2: Wayne and Max practiced in the second sessions and Max clocked the fourth fastest time of 1:44.634 at 122.484 mph.
Thursday Practice Session #3: Emmanuel Collard and Ryan Briscoe handled driving duties in the night session. Emmanuel clocked the fifth fastest time in the dark at 1:45.723 at 121.217 mph.