Grand AM » 12 July 2007
SunTrust targeting Iowa honours.
Angelelli, Magnussen chasing first win at Iowa Speedway as Rolex Series makes maiden appearance.
Max Angelelli and Jan Magnussen will be chasing the honour of being the first winners of a Grand-Am Rolex Series race at Iowa Speedway as the series heads to Iowa for the latest round of the season on Friday.
Victory in Friday night's 400-kilometre, 2½-hour race for the prototype class would continue inching Angelelli and the #10 SunTrust team back closer to the lead in the Rolex Series driver and team championships, both of which they held by a somewhat comfortable 16-point margin back in May after starting the season with four consecutive podium finishes.
Last week, Angelelli and French co-driver Jonathan Cochet battled back for a second place finish at Daytona, despite starting from the back of the field after a dead battery in qualifying – ending a run of three races where Cochet came into the team while Magnussen was busy elsewhere.
“I'm feeling really good about getting back to the SunTrust team and the Rolex Series,” the Dane said. “I'm looking forward to it. It's a fun deal for me. I've never been to the track, but the team has tested there already, and we will have a full day of promoter testing on Thursday, so I feel like we'll be ready.
“I don't know what the track is like, other than the fact it's small. We'll get there early, check it out, and hope for the best. For once, it's a good thing the GT cars won't be racing out there with us because the track is so small. I have no real concerns, otherwise. The team's always treated me really well. They've given me all the time I've needed in the car to get ready. So far, Max and I have done really well together. I'm not worried at all. Every time I come back to the team, they give me a really good car and we've been able to make the most of it. This weekend should be no different.”
Angelelli himself admitted that the challenge facing the team in the remaining races will be far from easy as they attempt to close the gap to the teams ahead and he added that the race tomorrow will be tricky – with the possibility that battles will be decided in the pits.
"We tested there back in March," he said. "I honestly have to say there is not much we can say we learned that will help us. It was kind of cold and kind of wet. We got a good look at the track. It's definitely something different. It's the shortest and the slowest track that I have ever been to.
"The race is going to be very interesting. Race strategy, I'm sure, is going to be very important. It will define the winners and the losers. There is no passing zone on the race track. The only way to overtake cars will be in the pits. We will see the pit crew more focused and more determined than ever in trying to have very good pit stops. That is what will make the difference for all the teams. That, and where they will qualify."
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