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Grand-Am: SunTrust eager for first Mid-Ohio win.

Having won at many of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series rounds over the years, Max Angelelli and Jonathan Cochet are now bidding to add Mid-Ohio to SunTrust's lengthy list of achievements.

The scenic 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio circuit, nestled in the green, rolling countryside between Columbus and Cleveland, is one of only two tracks on the 2007 Rolex Series schedule that the SunTrust team has visited on multiple occasions but has yet to come away from with a victory.

The only other one is Mexico City's former Formula 1 circuit, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, where the SunTrust team has scored a pair of podium finishes in three events at that track.

Though victory has been elusive in three previous visits to Mid-Ohio, the SunTrust Pontiac scored a moral victory, of sorts, with perhaps the most improbable podium finish in its relatively brief history during the 2005 EMCO Gears Classic. Having “burned to the ground” during Friday qualifying, in the words of team owner and three-time championship sports car racer Wayne Taylor, the SunTrust crew worked through the night to rebuild its racing machine in time to start from the back of the grid on Saturday.

Then, in truly methodical fashion, a determined Taylor and Angelelli worked their way toward the front of the field and took the checkered flag in third place. It helped maintain the team's hefty lead in the point standings en route to that years Rolex Series championship.

A repeat of that 2005 championship run continues to be the object of the SunTrust team's relentless focus in 2007. With Angelelli just seven points behind Scott Pruett in the driver standings and the SunTrust Pontiac 12 points behind Pruett's No. 01 Telmex Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates entry in the team standings, its goal is entirely within reach.

Angelelli, with his French co-driver Cochet joining him for only the second time this weekend, is more focused and motivated than ever to score his 11th career Rolex Series win at Mid-Ohio.

“This could be a great weekend for us if everything goes well (in practice and qualifying) on Friday. The last few race weekends, we struggled during practice and qualifying. All of a sudden, we were good on race day, especially at Virginia, where we got our first victory for Wayne Taylor Racing. We had a problem during the race at Laguna Seca that really hurt us in the points, and then we looked like we had the car to win the race at Watkins Glen before they penalized us two times.

“But we can't look back. We have to look ahead. At Mid-Ohio, we will have to perform better in practice than we have recently so we can build up the perfect car for qualifying and for the race. It will be very important to start on the front row at Mid-Ohio because the track is extremely narrow, and without the GT cars racing with us, I would not expect there to be very much passing on the race track.”


Related Pictures

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Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley duo Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer celebrate their first Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory at Road America [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Matt Bell, drivers of the # 9 Camaro GS.R, race to second place Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Wilkins/Frisselle - AIM Autosport [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Spencer Pumpelly - TRG Porsche [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Borcheller/Barbosa - Action Express Racing Porsche Riley [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]

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