Phoenix: SunTrust Racing preview

SunTrust Race Team on a Roll Heading to Phoenix Phoenix, Arizona (May 9, 2006) -- After two podium finishes in as many races, including a victory at Laguna Seca last weekend, the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team heads to Phoenix in good...

SunTrust Race Team on a Roll Heading to Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona (May 9, 2006) -- After two podium finishes in as many races, including a victory at Laguna Seca last weekend, the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team heads to Phoenix in good spirits and with high hopes for continued success as they climb up the championship standings.

The SunTrust Race Team is currently in sixth place in the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Team championship standings after six of 14 races. Additionally, year-long SunTrust driver Max Angelelli holds the same position in the 2006 Driver Championship point standings. Angelelli, along with car owner/driver Wayne Taylor, are the defending 2005 Grand American DP Driver Champions.

With the new year came even more challenging races from additional teams and drivers. A tough season start with an early exit after four hours in the Rolex 24 At Daytona put the team in 29th position in the point standings early on. As the season has progressed, so has the No. 10 SunTrust team -- into the Top Ten and now almost into the Top Five. With promising prospects for the Gainsco Grand Prix race at the Phoenix International Raceway this coming Saturday night, May 13th, the popular No. 10 SunTrust team hopes to crack that elite Top Five status after leading the standings the entire 2005 season.

Wayne Taylor invited Danish hotshoe and former Formula One driver Jan Magnussen back to the cockpit for Phoenix to join Max "The Ax" Angelelli, hoping they will show their winning ways again in back-to-back races. Additionally, the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley has had great success at Phoenix in its first two years. In 2004, in just their third race with the new car and team, Taylor and Angelelli captured their first of nine victories to date for the SunTrust Race Team. In 2005, in a classic Grand American battle to the finish, the duo brought it to the checkered flag in second place.

"For some reason we've had good success at Phoenix," said Wayne Taylor, a three-time sports car champion. "I'm not really sure why we have done so well there because it's a difficult race, in the dark at night and there are always a lot of wrecks. With Max and Jan back driving again, we should be able to have another podium finish. We need it to stay alive in the championship."

"We were glad to finally get a win at Laguna Seca last Sunday," said Angelelli, from Bologna, Italy and Monte Carlo, Monaco. "It is very important for us to continue to have podium finishes and more wins. We must constantly push to get to the top. It's going to be tough again at Phoenix. Nothing is easy in racing. We hope to have another good race there. We need that for the championship. Then we can rejoin the club hopefully," added Angelelli, as he joked about hoping to be back in the Top Five and therefore considered one of the best teams in the Rolex Series.

"I'm looking forward to Phoenix now," said Jan Magnussen, who won the Phoenix GT race in 2005 in the TRG Pontiac GTO.R. "Everything works well with Max and me, the team and everybody. It will be great to go there and see if we can keep the momentum up and get another podium or win."

"I think it will be less pressure at Phoenix," said Bill Riley, owner of Riley Technologies who spearheads the racing effort of the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley. "We had a good test there at Phoenix a couple of months ago so we have a good set-up, a good baseline already for the track. We'll go to Phoenix and be able to hit the ground running."

The SunTrust team is already in Arizona, prepping the car at the GM Proving Grounds in Mesa on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9-10, before heading over to the Phoenix circuit late Wednesday afternoon.

The Gainsco Grand Prix race, a 250-mile/166-lap/two-and-three quarter hour race, will be televised tape delayed on SPEED on Sunday, May 14 at 3:00 p.m. ET and again on Tuesday, May 16 at 12:00 noon ET.

-suntrustracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Wayne Taylor , Max Angelelli