SunTrust Racing: Second by Max Angelelli (1:40.133 at 127.990 mph)
The No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start this weekend's 49th renewal of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona from the inside of the front row after qualifying Thursday afternoon at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Italian driving ace Max Angelelli, who's co-driving the SunTrust Racing prototype with regular full-time teammate Ricky Taylor, IZOD IndyCar Series star Ryan Briscoe and team owner Wayne Taylor, clocked a lap of 1 minute, 40.133 seconds (127.990 mph) around the 3.56-mile, 12-turn superspeedway road circuit, second-fastest among 50 car-and-driver combinations entered for this weekend's 24-hour endurance classic. Angelelli, the polesitter in the SunTrust Racing machine at last year's Rolex 24, was just 34-thousandths of a second off the record-setting pole time of fellow former series champion Jorg Bergmeister in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Riley today. Nonetheless, Angelelli qualified the SunTrust car on the front row for the fifth time in eight Rolex 24s since SunTrust joined the series in 2004.
"I'm happy with the front row, absolutely happy," said Angelelli the 2005 series champion who, like 2006 champion Bergmeister, was also under the previous track qualifying record of 1:40.540 (127.472 mph) set by David Donohue in 2009. "It's good. Our car is a polesitter car, definitely not a second-place car. But the team did a fantastic job and gave me a good car. I couldn't put together the ultimate lap -- too many mistakes -- and I'm second. But the car is very capable of starting from the pole, and it will be very good for the race, so it's good."
Angelelli's previous Rolex 24 qualifying efforts featured his pole position last season and outside-front-row starting spots for the SunTrust team in 2004, 2005 and 2007. He and team owner Wayne Taylor went on to win the 2005 Rolex 24 to kick off a dominating series championship run that season.
"I know Max is disappointed because he thinks -- we all think -- we had the car for the pole," Wayne Taylor said. "But I think P2 is still a great result. He ran really great laps consistently, so I think we have a great racecar. You know, last year we qualified on the pole here and nothing happened. Both times I've qualified P2, we won the race. In '96, I qualified second and won and, in 2005, we qualified second and won. So that's a good position. It's on the front row. Obviously, the team did a fantastic job. A big thanks to Chevrolet and ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies) for the new engines. You know, it only counts what happens on Sunday, but it's a great start."