SunTrust Racing Qualifying Report Armed Forces Grand-Am 250 -- Sonoma, Calif. The SunTrust Racing driving duo of Max Angelelli and Memo Gidley will start Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Armed Forces Grand-Am 250 from the outside of...
SunTrust Racing Qualifying Report
Armed Forces Grand-Am 250 -- Sonoma, Calif.
The SunTrust Racing driving duo of Max Angelelli and Memo Gidley will start Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Armed Forces Grand-Am 250 from the outside of the third row after an abbreviated qualifying session Friday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
Gidley, co-driving with Angelelli for the third time in the last four Rolex Series races, piloted the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley of Wayne Taylor Racing to a fast lap of 1 minute, 29.129 seconds (101.785 mph) during this afternoon's scheduled 15-minute qualifying session, good for sixth among 18 Daytona Prototype-class car-and-driver combinations entered in Saturday's 400-kilometer event. The session ended some six minutes early after an accident involving the No. 11 Samax Pontiac of Roger Yasukawa and the No. 59 Brumos Porsche of Hurley Haywood. Neither driver was injured.
With just two races remaining, the SunTrust Pontiac and Angelelli are currently tied atop the Rolex Series team and driver championship standings with the No. 01 Telmex Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley and lead driver Scott Pruett. Pruett's co-driver Memo Rojas qualified the No. 01 car fourth on the grid. Just four points back in both the team and driver standings is the No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley and drivers Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney, who extended their series-record pole qualifying streak today to nine consecutive races and 10 poles in 13 events this season.
"I think that the first two practice sessions on Thursday were a struggle, for sure. That was a little unexpected," said Gidley, who finished third at Birmingham and second at Watkins Glen with Angelelli in his first two races with the SunTrust team. "I think we made some pretty significant gains with the car, especially in certain areas of the corner. There's still one area where we're struggling a bit, but tomorrow we've got a half-hour of warm-up and it's going to be a very productive session because we've got decent tires to run on and we've got some good changes to make. I'm optimistic. I think no matter how you slice it in the race, we're going to be pretty good. Some of those guys who qualified in front of us are going to slow down a little bit. Their tires are going to wear out a little bit, and I think the changes we make will help us. Yes, I'm optimistic, although, obviously, we would like to have started closer to the front. But I think with a half-hour practice session tomorrow morning, I'm pretty confident we're going to have time to work it all out."
The SunTrust car was seventh, eighth and 11th in the first three practice sessions of the weekend, which started Thursday afternoon.
"It's probably the most disappointing weekend we've had so far this year in terms of our performance and our relationship to our competitors, Angelelli said. "I knew when we came here that this is a very challenging track in terms of set-up, so I was prepared for a tough weekend. But the weekend is not over. Not at all. Basically, the two cars we are fighting with for the championship qualified in front of us, plus the 19 (Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates second entry, which qualified fifth) is a team car with the 01. But we still have the race, and anything can happen. We can do it, for sure. For sure, we will try."
-credit: suntrust racing