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Groundhog day as SunTrust duo extend Grand-Am gap.


Despite only qualifying a disappointing sixth on the grid, the #10 SunTrust Racing pairing of Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor took another giant step towards the 2005 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series title by recording a series-leading fifth victory of the season in the Crown Royal 250 at Watkins Glen.

Angelelli took advantage of great pit work from his crew to take the lead with 27 laps remaining, and held off several late challenges from main title rival Scott Pruett and the #01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing team to win by 0.473secs.

Angelelli had his hands full throughout the race's final laps, however, and was unable to see Pruett behind him because he had lost both of his mirrors early in the race.
The Italian also managed to keep the lead despite the fact that a woodchuck ran directly into the path of the #10 Riley-Pontiac with three laps remaining. The resulting contact destroyed the car's right headlight and also did minor damage to the bodywork on the right front of the car, but Pruett was equally affected as the 'debris' from the collision also struck the #01 car.

Angelelli later explained that he had lost the 1996 Macau F3 Grand Prix after he struck an animal on course, and was afraid that the same thing would happen in the Crown Royal 250.

“All I saw was this black thing, and I couldn't understand what it was,” the Italian said, “When I hit it, I thought it should have been bigger because it was a big hit. It moved the car, and the steering wheel. I had nothing at the end, and I'm sure Scott pushed it just as hard as me. This race was really tough, but it was for the championship and this was a win we really, really wanted.”

The victory enabled Angelelli and Taylor to extend their lead in the Daytona Prototype driver standings to 39 points over Pruett and co-driver Luis Diaz. If the SunTrust team-mates further extend or maintain their lead following the VIR 400 in two weeks' time, they will share a first DP title.

It was the team's second-straight victory at Watkins Glen International, but their first win since a triumph in the CompUSA 200 at The Glen last month. With a total of eight victories, Angelelli and Taylor also moved atop the all-time Daytona Prototype win list, ahead of 2003 champion Terry Borcheller, whose regular ride was withdrawn from the race earlier in the week.

“Watkins Glen is always a favourite because there are true road race fans out here,” Taylor said, “We did plan to follow the #01, but we really thought Scott was going to get in the car. Then it turned out that it was the best decision that we made. For [Riley Technologies owner] Bill Riley and the guys, that pit-stop when Scott changed with Luis, and Max came in for fuel and tyres, played a big role in the outcome of the race. A lot of credit needs to go to those guys.”



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 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)
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)
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Henri Richard/Rene Villeneuve - Polizei 144 TRG Porsche GT3   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard - Verizon Wireless Team Penske Riley-Porsche   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Michael Valiante/Joh Pew - Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Oswaldo Negri/Mark Patterson - Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Ricardo Zonta/Nic Jonsson - Krohn Racing Lola-Ford   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Max Angelelli/Brian Frisselle - SunTrust Racing Dallara-Ford  [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Ricardo Zonta/Nic Jonsson - Krohn Racing Lola-Ford   {pic credit: Grand-Am]

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