SunTrust Drivers Taylor and Angelelli Invited to Participate in IROC Championship Atlanta, Georgia (January 18, 2006) -- As if winning the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Championship was not a difficult enough task, Wayne Taylor and Max...
SunTrust Drivers Taylor and Angelelli Invited to Participate in IROC Championship
Atlanta, Georgia (January 18, 2006) -- As if winning the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Championship was not a difficult enough task, Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli will now take on the challenge of competing in the 2006 invitational IROC Series. The International Race of Champions is open only to the world's best race drivers, as it pits the best drivers in all the U.S. racing series competing against one another in identically prepared cars.
Taylor and Angelelli, winners of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Team and Driver's Championships and drivers of the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley, were recently invited to compete in the annually star-studded 30th annual IROC series and the Grand-Am champs eagerly accepted.
"It's a great honor to be invited to compete in IROC," said Wayne Taylor of Altamonte Springs, Florida. "They take the champions from every series and I'm looking forward to getting to drive around and just watch everybody else. I've never driven a front-engine car, so this will be a real challenge for me."
The SunTrust team's duo had a stellar 2005 Grand American campaign where they drove the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley to five wins and ten podium finishes in fourteen races en route to the championships. They also captured three poles, seven fastest laps and led the points championship the entire season. Additionally, Angelelli recorded four podium finishes in five starts in the 2005 SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Championship, where he helped lift the Cadillac CTS-V race team to the Manufacturer's Championship in the GT class.
Wayne Taylor and Max "The Ax" Angelelli will share the IROC ride with each doing two of the four races in their quest for the 2006 Crown Royal IROC Championship. The driver team approach replicates the format of the Grand American Road Racing Series. Their combined points will be judged against the other individual drivers.
The four-race IROC series matches 12 of the top drivers in the world from varying disciplines against one another in equally prepared Pontiac Firebirds for a competition designed to answer the age-old query of, "Who truly is the best?" in an All-Star competition of racing.
The 2006 IROC competition will feature drivers from seven different racing series, including six that won their respective driving championship. In addition to Taylor and Angelelli, the IROC competition includes: 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion Tony Stewart, the defending and five-time IROC Champion Mark Martin, NASCAR Busch Series Champion Martin Truex, Jr., World of Outlaws Champion Steve Kinser, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave, ARCA Re/Max Series champion Frank Kimmel, IRL drivers Sam Hornish, Jr. and Scott Sharp, NASCAR Nextel drivers Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, and Max Papis from open wheel and road racing disciplines.
The 2006 IROC overall points winner will earn $1 million, with a total purse of nearly $1.9 million.
The race schedule includes Daytona International Speedway oval on February 17; Texas Motor Speedway oval on April 7; Daytona International Speedway road course on June 29 and Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 28. Taylor will drive the first Daytona oval event and the finale on the Atlanta Motor Speedway oval. Angelelli will compete at Race Two on the Texas Motor Speedway oval and on the Daytona road course, where the 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona winner is expected to excel.
"It's going to be interesting splitting Max and I," explained Taylor, who usually shares time in the No.10 SunTrust car with Angelelli. "This is the first time they've done a split between two drivers and combined the results into one score."
The 2004 Grand American champion duo of Max Papis and Scott Pruett finished 10th and 12th respectively in the series last year.