SunTrust Team Return to the Podium at VIR Alton, Virginia (April 23, 2006) -- The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli returned to a familiar location today -- the podium with a second place finish. The team narrowly...
SunTrust Team Return to the Podium at VIR
Alton, Virginia (April 23, 2006) -- The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli returned to a familiar location today -- the podium with a second place finish.
The team narrowly missed victory with a strong-charging Angelelli leading Pruett in the No. 01 CompUSA/Ganassi Lexus Riley. As the two leaders were dueling it out on the last lap, third place challenger Mike Rockenfeller, in the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Porsche Crawford, charged past the leaders on a risky outside move and slingshot past the two to grab the lead in Turn 14 of 17 turns.
After starting from the eleventh position on the grid in today's VIR 400 race, Round Five of 14 races during the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season, starting driver Wayne Taylor brought the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley up to the seventh position before turning the car over to Angelelli on Lap 9 of 77. After being in 14th position on the restart on Lap 14, Angelelli quickly drove the Pontiac up to tenth by the next lap and to the fifth position by Lap 21. Angelelli was nicknamed Max "The Ax" last season for that very reason of chopping his way up through the field towards the front.
"I'm very happy that we were able to get on the podium, especially being in such a big SunTrust footprint," said SunTrust car owner/driver Wayne Taylor. "I did think that this was going to be the event that we were going to turn around our results. Max's driving today was unbelievable and clearly the reason we got on the podium, along with the team's perfect strategy. This team is the best!"
"This is the race, together with Daytona, that I really wanted to be on the podium," said Angelelli, of Bologna, Italy and Monte Carlo, Monaco. "I'm happy with all the SunTrust guests here today that we could go to the podium and we almost won the race."
Today's grid was set based on the results of yesterday's inaugural Grand American Qualifying Race, the first of four this year. Max "The Ax" started the qualifying race from the 13th position and brought the SunTrust car to the checkered in eleventh place in the brief 30-minute sprint event.
"We had a tough race yesterday in the rain. Wayne did a good job starting so far in the back and brought the car back in a good position. I had to work very hard from there for the entire race, but we got a good result," added Angelelli.
"It was good to have a strong finish and a strong race like we did today," said Bill Riley, owner of Riley Technologies who spearheads the racing effort of the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley. "I'm never completely satisfied about the result unless it's a win, but it's great to get the car up front and get Pontiac and SunTrust back on the podium."
The next Grand American race will be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 5-7 for the sixth round in the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.