SunTrust Race Team Seeks to Defend Their Domination at Daytona Daytona Beach, Florida (June 27, 2005) -- The SunTrust racing team, with drivers Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli, have been the envy of other Daytona Prototype teams at Daytona ...
SunTrust Race Team Seeks to Defend Their Domination at Daytona
Daytona Beach, Florida (June 27, 2005) -- The SunTrust racing team, with drivers Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli, have been the envy of other Daytona Prototype teams at Daytona International Speedway for the past year. The popular duo won the Daytona 250 race last year at this time with a combination of great driving paired with excellent pit strategy by Bill Riley, SunTrust race team owner. The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team then came back in February 2005 to capture a victory at the historic 43rd annual Rolex 24 At Daytona race, along with co-driver Emmanuel Collard, who recently followed it up with a drive to second-place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this month. The SunTrust team seems unstoppable at the 3.56-mile Florida circuit.
"Pit strategy was certainly a huge factor in last year's win here," said Indianapolis, Indiana-based Bill Riley of Riley Technologies. "Daytona is one of those unique circuits where you can really work your way back up through the field with all the straights. The biggest challenge this year will be the new pavement. The Daytona Speedway is unusual for car set-up. The trick will be how fast we can come to grips with the new pavement. We would definitely like to keep our record at Daytona going. It's in the back of our minds, however the thing up front is what we're going to do about this pavement."
Since the Rolex 24 At Daytona race in February, the Daytona International Speedway infield circuit has been repaved. The new repaving could make laps times better and have some affects on tire wear and other variables during the two hour and forty-five minute race on Thursday evening.
The SunTrust Pontiac Riley team has led the 2005 Daytona Prototype point championship since the season-opening victory at Daytona, but is now tied following their sixth-place finish at the Sahlen's Six Hours at The Glen earlier this month. They are tied for first place with the No. 01 CompUSA/Ganassi team of Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz.
"I feel pressure for this race," said Altamonte Springs, Florida resident Wayne Taylor. "For me, I am always under pressure though -- pressure for the championship, pressure to win the race. We all go out to try and win, especially with a championship at stake. We had a big lead but now we are tied. Daytona is important for us. For me, it is my home track. The field of 23 cars is going to be really tough. It is going to be a really good race."
"This race is very important. Not only must we win to get back on top of the points, but also we want to continue what we have started with the Daytona track," said Italian hotshoe Max "The Ax" Angelelli. "Since this team was started at the beginning of last year, we have done very well. Even in our very first race with this car and team in January 2004, we were second in qualifying and finished fifth overall in the 24-hour race. Then we went on to win the next two races here, including this year's 24 Hours. We want to keep this streak alive and get back on top of the championship.
"I suppose everybody believes we are the team to beat," added Angelelli. "The level is so high this year, nothing is written in stone. I'm sure we'll be competitive as we always are. To say we are the car to beat might not be the case. Traffic will be a big factor -- getting through it without loosing too much. We're going to race like we always do -- flat out. Hopefully we will be helped by pit strategy by Bill Riley, which he is so capable to do. I'm relying on him and his knowledge."
"We're delighted to have Wayne, Max and the SunTrust race team back in Florida," said Tom Kuntz, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer SunTrust Bank, Florida, who recently replaced the retiring George Koehn. "The team has had great success at Daytona and we have got a large group of supporters coming to the race this week to help cheer them on to another victory."
The live Speed Channel broadcast of the Brumos Porsche 250 race will start at 8:00.m. ET on Thursday night, June 30th. The actual race start is 7:15 p.m. for two-and-three-quarter hours, 250 miles or 70 laps. The Grand American cars are only on the track for a single day, due to sharing the track with NASCAR's NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series.