SunTrust Team Experiences Gearbox Problems; Finishes Sixth at 6 Hueres de Circuit Mont-Tremblant Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada (May 21, 2005) -The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team, with drivers Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli, experienced...
SunTrust Team Experiences Gearbox Problems; Finishes Sixth at 6 Hueres de Circuit Mont-Tremblant
Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada (May 21, 2005) -The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team, with drivers Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli, experienced both highs and lows at the 6 Heures de Circuit Mont-Tremblant race today in Quebec, Canada. The series point leaders started from the second position, lead on two separate occasions for a total of 43 laps, yet had to settle for sixth place, when Max "The Ax" Angelelli experienced gearbox problems on Lap 181, while leading the race. The hotshoe Italian driver snatched the lead from Scott Pruett in the No.01 CompUSA Lexus Riley on Lap 155. A very tight battle ensued between Angelelli and Pruett, with Andy Wallace, driver of the No. 02 Citgo Pontiac Crawford, breathing heavily down their necks.
On Lap 180, with just seven laps to go, the SunTrust teams' domination ended when the car lost its first three gears, leaving Angelelli with only fourth and fifth gears remaining.
"I started having a problem with the gearbox at the beginning of my stint when I got in the car. Luckily I could manage to get back on the lead. Then some laps I had huge problems, other laps I was fine. I saw Scott was coming closer and then I could recover. Finally the gearbox broke and I lost the second and third gears. I only had fourth and fifth. There wasn't much more I could do with two gears."
"It was horrible," added SunTrust car owner/driver Wayne Taylor, who drove the middle stint of the six-hour race. "The team was outstanding to get us back and Max was a genius to get us back in the lead. Then to have something like the gearbox go, when we've never had that in 16 races. I don't know. The only consolation is that we still got points. Last year at this race we had a bigger disaster, so at least we salvaged some points today."
The SunTrust team collected 25 points for their sixth-place finish, bringing their annual total to 155 points. The margin narrowed to a five-point lead over the No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley team following five of twelve races in the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.
"We were kind of down and then up and down and then up," said SunTrust team owner Bill Riley. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out at the end. We had something wrong with the gearbox, which we've never had an issue with before with this brand of gearbox. So we'll go back and see what happened and get ready for the attack at The Glen.
"It's a shame that our lead has slowly gone away, but that's part of racing," continued Riley. "We just have to keep fighting. It looks like we're going to make some points today and it flipped around pretty quickly. We'll keep that in mind, but the main thing we need to look at The Glen is running up front all the time and that way we'll keep our point lead."
The eventual race winner was the No. 2 Citgo-Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford of Andy Wallace, Milka Duno and Jan Lammers, their first of the 2005 season, by a 3.843 margin of victory over the No. 2 New Century Mortgage Lexus Riley of Stefan Johansson and Cort Wagner. The No. 01 CompUSA team collected a third-place finish. Nine cars finished on the lead lap, Lap 188. There were only five cautions for a total of 29 laps during the partly rain-soaked race. There were 12 car lead changes and 12 driver lead changes among nine different drivers. Max Angelelli lead laps 58 through 77 and again from laps 179 through 179.
Round six of the 2005 Grand American series will be the Sahlen's 6 Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen, New York on June 10-12, 2005. It will be the second six-hour race of the season and the third endurance race of the 12 total events.