Grand AM »

SunTrust survives for top four at Daytona

SunTrust Racing managed to avoid the engine woes that affected its fellow Ford runners to post a fine fourth place finish in the opening round of the Grand Am Rolex Series at Daytona.

The engine problems saw no fewer than six Daytona Prototype machines forced out of the event, with Krohn Racing and Michael Shank Racing losing both cars, and AIM Autosport and Doran Racing following suit.

Those issues led to obvious questions over whether or not the SunTrust car would survive to the finish, but rather than just survive, the #10 crew found themselves involved in a frantic battle for victory in the closing stages.

Indeed, the car led for some 56 laps during the event and in the closing stages, Max Angelelli found himself battling for position with David Donohue, Juan Pablo Montoya and Joao Barbosa for the victory.

While victory would ultimately go to the #58 Brumos Racing Porsche, Angelelli was able to take the flag in a fine fourth place, only ten seconds from victory, to hand the team its third consecutive top-five finish in the event.

"Coming out of last year, we really had an up-and-down year but we ended on a pretty high note,” team boss Wayne Taylor said. "But coming to a 24-hour with a car you have never actually run for 24 hours is a challenge. Add to that the change in engine manufacturer to Ford power, and that was another massive change. So, coming in, there were a lot of unknowns.

“About four or five hours in, John Maddox [Roush Yates manager of Cammer Engine Programmes] told me that it was possible that none of the Ford engines might finish. We spent about an hour talking about it amongst everyone and realized it was negative energy. We decided there was no point in worrying about it because if it was going to happen, it was going to happen. So we said, 'Let's go race.'

“If you take that perspective, then this fourth-place finish is great. But we come here to win. We had an understanding of what might be the problem and we knew we couldn't do anything about it, so we just decided to fight and go race. Maybe we got lucky, or maybe there wasn't any problem at all. We are happy coming out of here in fourth place. We got good points and we know now we have a good package. We have run 24 hours, so we should be able to finish the 2hr 45min races. Our sites are on the championship. That is what it is all about for us."

Having taken the flag in fourth, Angelelli admitted he was disappointed not to have been able to fight for victory, but said he was now confident for the remainder of the year.

"We are very competitive and we want to win, and when we don't win, we are disappointed," he reflected. "That is our DNA. We want to succeed. It's written in our DNA and when we don't, we are disappointed and upset. I don't know what happened to the other Fords. Our car was fantastic. I want to thank Dallara and Ford for what they gave me today. Without that combination, I wouldn't have been able to finish fourth.

“I was fast by myself, but when I got close to the others at the end there, they had higher top speed and I just could not get around. Otherwise, I'm very happy with today. I'm looking forward to a great season."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The SunTrust Dallara at Daytona [Pic credit: Brian Cleary]
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]
Borcheller/Barbosa - Action Express Racing Porsche Riley [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.