Grand AM »

SunTrust shine at Laguna Seca.


After struggling in the early rounds of the 2006 Rolex Series, defending champion Max Angelelli and the #10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team returned to their winning ways in Sunday's Road & Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Co-driving with Jan Magnussen - who led 18 laps during his stint in the cockpit - Angelelli claimed the lead from David Donohue's #58 Red Bull Brumos Racing Porsche with 21 laps remaining, and then held off several late challenges from Alex Gurney in the #99 GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing Riley-Pontiac to win by 2.798secs.

It was Angelelli's first victory since the Crown Royal 250 at Watkins Glen last September, and Magnussen's first overall triumph in Rolex Series competition since a 200-mile race at the same venue in 2004. It was also the first overall victory of the season for Pontiac, which has won the last two Daytona Prototype engine manufacturer championships.

"Obviously, I'm very happy," Angelelli said, "I thought this team had everything in place to be a top-three team, and to win here is good. The team did a good job in the pits and in the race strategy."

For Magnussen, the victory comes in just his second Daytona Prototype start of the season, and only his third class appearance since 2004. As he did for the Crown Royal Grand American Challenge of Long Beach last month, the Dane drove in place of owner and reigning co-champion Wayne Taylor.

"I'm so happy," Magnussen said, "The car was great from the beginning, and the race strategy worked out well for us. I had a good time out there. It was fun. Our car was great and we were able to push hard the whole time. Obviously, I've got to thank Wayne and the SunTrust team for the opportunity. Everybody did a great job."

Gurney and new co-driver Jon Fogarty came home second in the #99 machine, the performance a Rolex Series best for Fogarty in just his second start with GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing. The runner-up result tied Gurney's best performance in the series, matching a second-place run in the CompUSA 200 at The Glen last August. The performance was all the more impressive given the fact that Fogarty and Gurney had to overcome damaged bodywork from an incident with a GT car early in the race.

"Obviously, we would have liked to have won, but this feels great," Gurney admitted, "Everything worked well today. We were able to get through traffic and overcame the incident with the GT car. Overall, it was a good day."

"It feels great," Fogarty agreed, "Laguna's a home track for me, and I had a lot of family and friends here. Unfortunately, a GT car got in the back of us and kind of messed up the balance, but it didn't disrupt it too bad. It's great to be on the podium here."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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
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)
Max Angelelli and Brian Friselle win at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
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]

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 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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