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Angelelli captures Daytona Grand-Am pole.

Italian veteran Max Angelelli underlined SunTrust Racing's current frontrunning pace with a fourth career Grand-Am pole.

Max Angelelli prevailed in a back-and-forth battle to capture pole position for the 48th Rolex 24 at Daytona, securing top spot for the opening round of the 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Series with a lap of 1min 40.827secs in the #10 SunTrust Ford Dallara as Thursday's timed session set the top 13 positions in the Daytona Prototype class and the top 20 in GT.

It was Angelelli's fourth career pole in the Rolex Series, as the #10 SunTrust entry he shares with Wayne Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Pedro Lamy again proved to be the class of the field. The Italian was fastest in a three-day practice session earlier in January, after which he said all the team needed to do was 'wash the car' to be ready for the Rolex 24.

"Winning the pole was really important for the team, after the disappointment of losing last year's championship in the final race," Angelelli said, "It was good for team morale. We really wanted it.

"The car is great. It's really easy to drive and it's fast. We have everything in place, and we're really looking forward to the race to get a good result. Now it's up to us as drivers to make it happen."

The next four cars were separated by 0.064secs. Oz Negri will start from the outside of row one after running 1min 41.100secs in the #60 Crown Royal XR Ford Riley, edging out Michael Shank Racing team-mate Michael Valiante's 1min 41.110secs effort in the #6 Ford Riley.

"My car was still getting better late in the session," said Negri, who won the pole for the 2008 Rolex 24 in the same car, "My tyres were finally where I wanted them to be on the final lap. Who knows what would have happened if I had another lap, but I am very happy being on the front row."

Valiante led both of Saturday's practice sessions but slipped to third after running up front early in the 15-minute qualifying round.

"We've been quick all weekend and at the test, but we missed it by just a little bit in qualifying," the Canadian said, "I think we've got a real good car for the race, and that's what's important here."

The TELMEX/Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates cars qualified fourth and fifth, with Scott Dixon running a lap of 1min 41.147secs in the #02 BMW Riley to edge out the #01 machine of team-mate Scott Pruett.




Related Pictures

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The SunTrust Racing entry 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)
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]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway
Max Angelelli and Brian Friselle win at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]

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