Texas: Grand American's Angelelli preview

SunTrust Driver Max Angelelli Readies for Inaugural IROC Race in Texas Fort Worth, Texas (April 3, 2006) -- Max Angelelli, the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Champion, will strap himself into the front engine IROC...

SunTrust Driver Max Angelelli Readies for Inaugural IROC Race in Texas

Fort Worth, Texas (April 3, 2006) -- Max Angelelli, the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Champion, will strap himself into the front engine IROC car today for the first time to test the Pontiac-powered race car.

Although the IROC car itself, which is similar to a NASCAR Busch car, is a very different than Angelelli's regular ride, a Grand American sports car on a Riley chassis, the Pontiac-powered engine is very similar. Both put out 500 horsepower through a 5.0-liter Pontiac V-8 305 cubic inch motor. The only difference is the IROC race motor produces 6800 rpm, versus the Grand American producing 7100 rpm.

Angelelli's teammate and co-champion, Wayne Taylor, competed in Round One of the 2006 IROC Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17 and drove to an impressive sixth place finish. Angelelli will have driving chores for this week's race at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7th and Round Three at Daytona International Speedway on the road course on June 29. Taylor will complete the four-race series competition by driving in the final race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 28. This is the first time in IROC history that they have divided the driving between co-champions and combined the points between both as the final total.

"Driving in the IROC Series is not something I ever thought I would do," said Max "The Ax" Angelelli of Bologna, Italy and Monte Carlo, Monaco. "We knew of this U.S. championship series when growing up in Europe, but it was not something I thought I would ever have the opportunity to race in. They were all legendary drivers, mostly American. To be able to add my name to the list of drivers competing in the IROC Series is a real honor.

"Wayne really enjoyed running at Daytona in February in IROC and has promised me I will like it as well," added Angelelli who previously won the 1992 Formula Three Italian Championship. "Racing is racing, and I have at least driven a front engine car with the Cadillac CTS. So I guess I am only a small step ahead of Wayne with that going into the series. It will be new to learn NASCAR-style drafting and bumping. I am used to pretty aggressive driving though, so it should be fun."

The 39-year-old Angelelli will compete against NASCAR champions like Tony Stewart, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth on the 1.5-mile oval superspeedway, his first superspeedway oval.

"I have competed at Daytona many times, but not on just the oval. Driving on a oval superspeedway like Texas without the road course will be new to me," added Angelelli, who began racing in the U.S. in 1998. "I am told that this is a very different experience. I look forward to it."

"Max will do great in the IROC cars. He's so talented and can drive anything," said Grand American No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley car owner/driver Wayne Taylor. "People will be surprised how quickly Max gets up to speed in these cars. He's a quick learner. I can't wait to see him on the road course at Daytona in June. That will be the real showplace for Max to impress."

-str

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Series IROC
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Wayne Taylor , Max Angelelli , Mark Martin