SunTrust Team Controls Its Championship Destiny Going Into Mexico City Finale Mexico City, Mexico (October 26, 2005) --The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley race team of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli hopes to finish what began in Daytona. Since...
SunTrust Team Controls Its Championship Destiny Going Into Mexico City Finale
Mexico City, Mexico (October 26, 2005) --The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley race team of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli hopes to finish what began in Daytona.
Since winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona in February, the SunTrust team has held firmly to first place in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype points standings. When the Grand American season culminates in Mexico City, Taylor and Angelelli will have the opportunity to take the team championship by completing just one green flag lap, but the No. 10 SunTrust team does not intend to do anything different down south of the border.
"We're just going to go down to Mexico and run our normal race stuff," said Bill Riley, team director and owner of Riley Technologies. "With it being the final race, we have to do it now, so hopefully we'll just have each driver run one green flag lap and go from there."
If both Taylor and Angelelli complete a single green flag lap they will share the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Driver Championship.
"We have to race in Mexico to clinch the championship, but it's the same as every other race," explained Taylor, driver/owner of the No. 10 SunTrust car. "You don't win until it's really done. We have to go to Mexico and do what we normally do."
"Our plan will be the same as usual, Wayne will start and I'll finish and that will be the strategy," added Angelelli, who is known as "Max the Ax" for his ability to slice between traffic.
At the penultimate race, VIR 400 in Alton, Va., the SunTrust team had the opportunity to clinch the championship, but minor car damage prevented Angelelli from being his normal aggressive self during the final laps of the race.
"It is a shame we didn't clinch in Virginia," explained the hot shoe Italian. "I'm a little bit sad because in my mind everything was prepared for us to do it, but it was very unfortunate we couldn't do it there. We will head to Mexico and plan on doing well there."
>From experiences like that, Angelelli knows the SunTrust team cannot just expect to win. "You never know if you will have an engine or electrical problem, or something else can happen in practice, so we can't think about winning just yet," Angelelli continued.J"We have to make sure everything goes as planned."
The circumstances surrounding the 2005 Grand American Daytona Prototype Championship are surprisingly similar to Taylor's 1996 IMSA championship won with Bill Riley. Taylor needed only to complete a single green flag lap to win that year, but believes this year may feel different because of his animated co-driver.
"Bill and I have won together before in 1996," said Taylor. "This will be more special because Max has been with me since 1999 and we are such good friends and almost like family. So, to have him in the car and be part of this makes it really good."
The team currently holds a 32-point lead -- 407-375 -- over the No. 01 CompUSA/Ganassi racing team of Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz, a native Mexican, who will likely be the most popular driver among the enthusiastic Mexican racing fans.
"I think they will notice someone other than Luis ... maybe," said Taylor, a native of South Africa who currently resides in Florida. "Clearly, he is a star there, but from what I gather, Max is fairly well known too. There is some knowledge of our series in Mexico and I think they'll know some of us, but clearly, Luis will be the star. Not only do they think he's a star but I think he is as well."
"I've never raced in Mexico before and I've heard the fans are pretty intense, so we're looking forward to getting down there," said Riley. "They'll probably be all over Luis, but hopefully we can sneak around and get some attention. But, I'm sure he'll be the big show."
The SunTrust Grand American race team has had a remarkable season including five wins and nine podium finishes in thirteen races. After winning September's Crown Royal 250 at The Glen, the SunTrust team became the winningest team in the six-year history of Grand American racing by collecting a total of eight wins over the team's two seasons. Also, the team has finished in sixth place or higher in 17 consecutive races, dating back to the Miami 250 in September of 2004. J "Going to Mexico City to clinch the team and driver's championship for 2005 is something this team has worked hard towards since we started this program," said John Mauney, Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing Services for SunTrust Bank. "Many teams work for years and don't achieve what the SunTrust team, with Wayne, Max, and Bill Riley look like we'll be able to achieve in just two years. We're real proud of that and glad to be associated with such a first-class operation that knows how to win races regularly and be at the top of the charts consistently."
The SunTrust team's success this year includes victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Grand Prix of Miami, the Porsche 250 at Barber, the CompUSA 200 at The Glen and the Crown Royal 250 at The Glen. Other podium finishes include the Ferrari Maserati 400 at Fontana, the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona, the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio and the Phoenix 250.
The race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the final race of the season, will have a 250-mile/90-lap/two and three-quarter hour format on the 2.786 mile course. Speed Channel coverage of the race will be aired live at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 5.
SunTrust Banks, Inc., (NYSE: STI) headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of September 30, 2005, SunTrust had total assets of $172.4 billion and total deposits of $113.7 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels. The Company also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the Company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, equipment leasing and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is suntrust.com.