SunTrust Racing Finishes Fourth at Grand American Finale at Fontana and Collects Second in Points Championship for Season Fontana, California (October 31, 2004) - A small problem in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series finale at California...
SunTrust Racing Finishes Fourth at Grand American Finale at Fontana and Collects Second in Points Championship for Season
Fontana, California (October 31, 2004) - A small problem in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series finale at California Speedway prevented the SunTrust Racing team from winning the championship, however they had an stellar race today.
After starting from the fifth position, the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley Mk.11 of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli suffered a wheel speed sensor problem, which caused them to lose two laps in pit stops. Ultimately, Taylor and Angelelli climbed back up through the field from the 34th position to finish fourth overall in an incredible effort to try and win the championship.
"We had a right rear wheel sensor go bad. That interfered with the traction control," said car owner/driver Wayne Taylor. "We tried different settings, we tried different ECUs (electronic control unit). We weren't sure whether it was a fuel or electric issue. So we first tried ECU, then we tried running on reserve. We changed the steering wheel and turned the traction control off, then turned it back on and that was what the problem was."
"I feel pretty bad because it's a relatively simple problem. Obviously we've never encountered it before or we wouldn't have had it today." added team owner Bill Riley. "So, we tried to diagnose it the best we could. Unfortunately, we had to do it under green and we lost two laps. Another bad luck was that we didn't have any yellows. If we had had some yellows, we could have gotten some more positions back, maybe a lap back and then we would have been right there. The lap times were there, the car was there. It was just not our day."
With today's fourth place finish, the SunTrust Team collected second place in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Team Championship point standings with 352 points. They trailed the race winning No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Max Papis by ten points in the championship. Additionally, Taylor finished second in the Driver's Championship, following the tied winners of Pruett and Papis with the same point ratio.
The Chairman, President and CEO of SunTrust Banks, Florida, George Koehn, summed up his thoughts about the season-long efforts of the SunTrust Racing team with the following words: "It's real easy. I told Wayne before we started today that regardless of how we finished up today, as far as I'm concerned, we won."
Italian hotshoe Max Angelelli collected his eighth fastest race lap of the 12-race season today with a 1:30.790 at 101.316 mph.
Although Angelelli had an incredible drive for the final 37 laps of the race, after he took over the wheel from Taylor on lap 52, he could not hide his disappointment in the final outcome. "Of course I'm sorry and not happy. It's a shame we could not have had the problem earlier in the season and we could have reacted differently. It was the first time for us, a new experience. We never knew that losing the speed sensor would cause this type of problem."