SunTrust Team Completes Historic Test At Indianapolis Motor Speedway INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 3, 2009) -- Fresh off its second Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season Saturday at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the No. 10...
SunTrust Team Completes Historic Test At Indianapolis Motor Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 3, 2009) -- Fresh off its second Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season Saturday at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara team of Wayne Taylor Racing put its silver "Solid Is Lightning Fast" racecar through its paces during a historic test session Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The SunTrust team was one of nine Rolex Series Daytona Prototype and GT teams taking part in the first Grand-Am sanctioned test that utilized both the 2.534-mile Formula 1 road course and the 2.621-mile MotoGP configuration.
Team owner and three-time sports car racing champion Wayne Taylor, who co-drove with Max Angelelli to the 2005 Rolex Series title for SunTrust, relished his first career opportunity to drive at the historic Speedway. He shared seat time in the SunTrust Racing machine with his 20-year-old son, Ricky Taylor, who regularly drives in the Rolex Series for the No. 13 Beyer Racing team that did not take part in today's test. The SunTrust team completed approximately 100 trouble-free laps during three hours of testing on the Formula 1 layout and 20 minutes running clockwise on the MotoGP configuration. Lap times were not officially reported.
With two Rolex Series races remaining on the 2009 schedule, the SunTrust team is five points out of the championship lead in a second-place tie with the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. Next up is the Sept. 19 event at Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake City, followed by the season-finale Oct. 9 at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Wayne Taylor, Team Owner of the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara:
This has to be a special day for you as a longtime competitor in Grand-Am, to see the Daytona Prototypes and GT cars on the road course at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. What is your impression about the significance of today's test?
"Well, I'm the eternal optimist about Grand-Am as I've been around as a competitor since 2004. Being fortunate enough to race on all the big tracks around the world, this is the only one that I've never driven. So the opportunity to come here today has been just absolutely tremendous. And what's even more tremendous is that, on a weekday, doing the first couple of laps, I saw loads and loads of people out there watching, which is really just fantastic. This will just step us up to the next level and I have to say, in the last year-and-a-half, the following has really grown. I think the fans understand who the Grand-Am drivers are. And to come and potentially race here is just going to be fantastic."
What's your feeling as far as taking the next step and actually putting a Rolex Series race on the schedule at Indianapolis?
"I can't believe that we'd be doing this test here if we weren't coming back fairly soon. I've been one of the team owners who I know have been fighting for more quality races -- fewer and more quality races than just more races. This obviously would be a quality event. I've heard rumors about 13 races next year. We've had 12 this year. What I've said is I'd prefer to stick to 12, but if you've got a quality event in something like this, we'll make that happen. My personal, gut feeling is that, if this all goes well, everybody feels safe -- why would you not feel safe when Formula 1 cars have driven around here -- for me, I think that we'll be here next year."
What are your impressions of the track, now that you have driven it?
"It's fantastic. Obviously, I've come here for the Grand Prix, I've come here for the Indy 500 -- the track is a fantastic layout. There appeared to be quite a bit of tire buildup on the track, but we've seen that wherever we've gone. I remember changing tires from Hoosier to Pirelli when we went to Homestead (to test) and everybody was, 'Oh, look at all the tire buildup.' We've had this at every racetrack, so I don't see that as an issue at all. I think there are at least three really good areas for passing cars. Early on through turn one, going the other way around, maybe we have to run single-file. I'm not sure, yet, because the track's still green. Obviously, turn 12 and 13 are really high-speed corners, which is fantastic. And there's a really good, long straightaway, and places where there is heavy braking and some real technical corners inside. There are one or two that are a little slow, and I don't really like slow corners, but it's all technical and, if you put it all together, I think it's a really great track. I think we can come and race here tomorrow."