Daytona24: Team Chevy race report

CHEVY-POWERED SUNTRUST RACING RALLIES FOR 5TH-PLACE FINISH AT ROLEX 24
STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS PACES CAMARO GT.Rs; BOTH TEAMS LED LAPS

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 30, 2011) -- The hard-charging No. 10 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet Dallara finished in fifth place in the Rolex 24 at Daytona GRAND-AM Road Racing opener at Daytona International Speedway to lead the three Chevrolet-powered Daytona Prototype (DP) entrees in the field. The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R finished 12th to pace the three Chevys in the GT field.

The No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara -- driven by Max Angelelli, Ryan Briscoe and Ricky Taylor -- was involved in on-track contact, which caused damage to the right side of the car, nearly six hours into the race, and lost five laps while in the garage. The team regained four of those laps before returning to the garage to repair a broken suspension part, believed to have resulted from the earlier incident.

"The car is good, the Chevrolet engine is good and I am looking forward to the season," said Taylor. "We know where the engine is now. We know we have a strong engine. All the variables we were worried about, we have answers to and I think they are all positive."

The No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara, which led for 36 laps in the early going, finished one lap off the pace.

The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R -- driven by Robin Liddell, Ronnie Bremer and Jan Magnussen -- led its class for 23 laps, and then overcame problems to rally 20 positions from 32nd place.

"Obviously, we're disappointed in having some electrical issues early on in the race when we were leading," said team owner John Stevenson. "It got us down over an hour, so 25 laps are hard to overcome, but we came from 32nd to 12th, so we pushed as hard as we could to get as many points as we could. Now we'll move on. We've got the whole rest of the season to go."

Chevrolet announced its partnership with GRAND-AM Road Racing and team lineup last week.

"For this year's 24 Hours of Daytona race, we debuted new engine configurations in both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes," said Mark Kent, GM Racing Director. "These new engines are based on our LS-series of small block V8 engines and contain a significant number of production components. The 24 Hour of Daytona race is the most demanding road race held in North America. Therefore, to introduce these new engine configurations at this grueling event and to not have a single engine related failure is a great demonstration of the performance and reliability attributes of our small block V8 engine."

Other Team Chevy finishers: In DP, No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley, 12th in class and 15th overall; and No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Coyote, 14th/ 23rd. In GT, No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R, 14th/28th; and No. 07 Banner Racing Camaro GT.R, 23rd/39th.

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MARK KENT -- GM RACING DIRECTOR

"For this year's 24 Hours of Daytona race, we debuted new engine configurations in both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes. These new engines are based on our LS-series of Small Block V8 engines and contain a significant number of production components. The 24 Hour of Daytona race is the most demanding road race held in North America. Therefore, to introduce these new engine configurations at this grueling event and to not have a single engine related failure is a great demonstration of the performance and reliability attributes of our small block V8 engine."

The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet Dallara had a strong car from the drop of the green flag. After on-track contact at approximately 9:00 p.m. that forced the team to the garage twice for repairs, the team rallied from 11 laps down to finish fifth in class and fifth, overall one lap down to the leaders at the end of the Rolex 24. The team was the highest finishing Chevrolet in the field.

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MAX ANGELELLI, NO. 10 SUNTRUST RACING CHEVROLET DALLARA, FINAL DRIVER IN THE RACE -- FINISHED 5TH IN CLASS AND 5TH OVERALL:

TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE: "If it wasn't for many things, you know. For 24 hours, you have to have everything in place. You can go two seconds slower, but you can't afford to stop in the garage. We've been very unlucky. It was a little piece that broke and put us down eight laps. The Chevy team, I believe, recovering 11 laps, it is incredible. It is incredible.

"Anyway, I have to wait another year. It is going to take long to recover. We were fast all race long, not only the last part of the race. It has been always like that. It is very painful."

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WAYNE TAYLOR, TEAM OWNER, NO. 10 SUNTRUST CHEVROLET DALLARA -- FINISHED 5TH IN CLASS AND 5TH OVERALL:

TALK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS YEAR'S ROLEX 24: "It was an amazing event. I can't...I don't know what to say. I am just so happy for everybody. I mean the guys, the drivers, the team, SunTrust, the Cheever people, Dallara, General Motors -- the engines were fantastic. It was just fantastic. The guys, Ryan (Briscoe), Max (Angelelli) and Ricky (Taylor) I think were the best combination out there. We just had that stupid incident."

LOOKING BACK YOU HAVE HAD TIME TO REFLECT BACK ON IT, WAS IT A RACING INCIDENT WITH THE NO. 02? "In the end, it was probably a racing incident but maybe he thought he was in a NASCAR stock car race or something, I don't know. But, you know, these things happen. Big picture, points wise I am very happy. I am looking forward to getting to the next race and winning some races. But you know what? We'll see what the competition department in GRAND-AM says about this one. I told them at the end of last year, going into this year, you going to have the same thing happen again and the same thing happened."

OTHER THAN THE INCIDENT, NOTHING ELSE WENT WRONG? "No, nothing. Just one incident."

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The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R ran very well and led some laps at the beginning of the Rolex 24 before encountering a number of issues. At one point, the team dropped to 32nd before rallying for a 12th-place finish, to lead the Camaro GT.Rs in the field.

JOHN STEVENSON -- OWNER, NO. 57 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO GT.R, FINISHED 12TH IN CLASS AND 26TH OVERALL

"It's just a feat to finish this deal. Obviously, we're disappointed in having some electrical issues early on in the race when we were leading. It got us down over an hour, so 25 laps are hard to overcome, but we came from 32nd to 12th, so we pushed as hard as we could to get as many points as we could. Now we'll move on. We've got the whole rest of the season to go."

"You know, my guys were certainly let down when we knew were in the garage and were behind, but what comes out of today is the fact that they can overcome a bad situation. We don't ever quit fighting until that checkered flag comes out. We're not through. We don't ever throw the towel in. It just proves to them that they can excel in adverse conditions. We'll go back and we'll spend the time at the table and we'll talk about how we got here and what happened and could we have prevented it, and we'll be better at the next race from what happened in this one."

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RONNIE BREMER -- NO. 57 STEVENSON MOTORSPORTS CAMARO GT.R, FINAL DRIVER IN THE RACE

FINISHED 12TH IN CLASS AND 26TH OVERALL -- "It was looking very good, we were leading in the beginning. Robin Liddell and the team did a very good job to push away from the beginning, and settle into our own pace. Unfortunately, we had some issue with the car, electronic issues, so we had to spend time in the pit lane. And then got out again and then we're doing well, getting up there again, then the power steering leaked, so we had to change the steering rack as well and spend more time in pit lane again. A little later on, Robin was hit by another car so we had to spend more time in the pit lane again, so all of the time, playing catch-up was a little bit sad because I really think we had the speed to win this race if we didn't have any problems, but I guess that's the name of the 24."

"It is a good feeling (to finish a 24-hour race), but it was looking really, really good this weekend for the whole Stevenson Auto Group and Chevy. We were doing a good job and had the drivers to do it, we had the team to do it, we just didn't have the luck this time. It's an achievement in itself, just to finish the race."

-source: team chevy

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Robin Liddell , Max Angelelli , Ronnie Bremer , John Stevenson , Bob Stallings , Ricky Taylor
Teams Stevenson Motorsports