SunTrust Team Qualifies Fifth for Phoenix Grand American Race Phoenix, Arizona (September 9, 2005) -- Qualifying for the eleventh round of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series was this evening as the sun set in the west at the ...
SunTrust Team Qualifies Fifth for Phoenix Grand American Race
Phoenix, Arizona (September 9, 2005) -- Qualifying for the eleventh round of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series was this evening as the sun set in the west at the 1.51-mile, 11-turn Phoenix International Raceway. The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli qualified fifth under the lights in preparation for tomorrow's newly sponsored Racetickets.com 250 race.
"I'm pretty happy actually because I know that I could have found another three-tenths just in my driving through the oval, but it's a good position to start," said SunTrust car owner and qualifying driver Wayne Taylor. "There were some really good drivers out there. I think that since we started here this weekend, that's the best the car has been. My concern for the race is going to be two things -- one the rear tires going away and the other thing is driver's fatigue. I don't think anybody has realized yet that at this track there is no place to rest and there are no GT cars that normally cause a lot of cautions. I'm not saying anything negative about the GT cars, but there are normally a lot of cautions, so the drivers can rest. Now we are probably going to go a long way on a green race and for tires and drivers it is really going to be tough."
"I'm very happy about Wayne's qualifying. Fifth position is good to start with and we are right behind the 01," said teammate Max "The Ax" Angelelli. "I'm looking forward to Wayne starting the race and maybe trying to overtake the 01 and hopefully to bring back the car in front of the 01 so to make my life easier."
"It was a real good qualifying and I'm just glad the car didn't burst into flames like it did at Mid-Ohio," joked Bill Riley, who oversees the No. 10 SunTrust race team. "It was a good attempt and fifth is a real good spot. The way the competition is now, we're only .57 seconds, I believe, off the pole. Last year that would have put us second and on the front row. It is a real competitive series and we're real happy about the qualifying spot."
The Racetickets.com 250 race is a 250-mile, 166-lap, two and three-quarter hour race which will run Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. PDT in the desert heat. Temperatures this week have topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit and heat is expected to be a factor in the stand-alone Daytona Prototype class race.
"The heat will be a factor for sure and it is something that worries me a little bit knowing that I have to drive one and a half stints. It's going to be pretty hard," Angelelli explained.
"The heat is pretty bad but we do have cool suits and the guys are doing everything to make it cooler," added Taylor. "Those are going to be the three factors -- the heat, driver fatigue and the rear tires going off. It's going to be very hard to pass anybody, so it's going to be tough.
The No. 10 SunTrust team was at the top of the charts in practice on Thursday. Angelelli turned consistent 57.6-second laps in the late night session, with his fastest being a 57.602 at 94.372 mph, barely being nipped with a flying lap by Oswaldo Negri in the No. 6 Mears/Michael Shank Racing Pontiac Riley at 57.302 at 94.866 mph. In the earlier evening session, Angelelli was third fastest with a 58.045 timed lap at 93.647 mph.