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Grand Am - SunTrust Racing Takes Pole At The Glen

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Watkins Glen, June 4, 2011: The No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara of Wayne Taylor Racing will start Saturday’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen from the pole after qualifying Friday afternoon at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, marking the second time in five days the SunTrust team has earned a Rolex Series pole position.

As he did on Monday en route to the SunTrust team’s victory in the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., Ricky Taylor, the 21-year-old co-driver to veteran Max Angelelli for the second full season, turned the fastest lap of this afternoon’s 15-minute Daytona Prototype-class qualifying session. This one was an effort of 1 minute, 40.691 seconds (1:21.560 mph) around the 3.4-mile, 11-turn Watkins Glen road course, placing Taylor and the SunTrust Racing Chevy at the front of the starting grid among 26 car-and-driver combinations entered for Saturday’s six-hour endurance marathon.

“I think the whole SunTrust team is really catching its stride and getting some good momentum going, here,” said Taylor, whose pole today was the third of his Rolex Series career and whose victory at Lime Rock on Monday was his second. “We really came off the trailer super-strong, once again, and that made my job really easy in qualifying. The SunTrust car was so fast. It’s nice to have an all-Chevy front row and I’m really looking forward to the race. It looks the action was already starting because the 01 and the 90 were really going at it in that qualifying session.”

Antonio Garcia, in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Coyote he co-drives with Paul Edwards, earned the outside-front-row starting spot with a lap of 1:40.909 (121.297 mph) to make it an all-Chevrolet front row. It was the Spirit of Daytona team’s fourth consecutive front-row qualifying effort. Defending series co-champion and current series points leader Scott Pruett clocked the third-fastest qualifying lap of 1:41.011 (1:21.175 mph) in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley he shares with Memo Rojas. In the GT class, Taylor’s 20-year-old brother Jordan put the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro on the pole, making the SunTrust Racing team owner, three-time sports car racing champion Wayne Taylor, a very happy father.

“All of last year, it seemed for Ricky and Jordan that if one of them got the pole, the other one got second,” said Wayne Taylor, whose SunTrust team will be going for its first Sahlen’s Six-Hour win despite six podium finishes in its last seven outings in the annual June Race at Watkins Glen since joining the Rolex Series in 2004. “I always wondered if there would ever be a day when the two of them got a pole. There’s no better place for that than here at Watkins Glen. Ricky goes up against (Scott) Pruett and (Alex) Gurney and everybody today. Jordan goes up against Ollie Gavin and (Robin) Liddell, who are the best. It just couldn’t be better for the two of them. I’m just thankful for this team, for SunTrust, for Chevrolet, for Toshiba and Dallara, for Autohaus. I didn’t have a good feeling as far as Ricky winning the pole, today. I felt a little far from the team because I haven’t been feeling well the last few days. I thought we had a top-three car like we normally have, but I just didn’t realize how quickly Ricky was going to go. So, I’m incredibly happy. At the same time, it only counts what happens tomorrow at the checkered flag. Max and Ricky work so well together. Max will be doing his usual. I know that the two of them, together, are going to be tough. They’re going to be really tough. But, you know, you can’t count out the 01, you can’t count out the 90, you can’t count out the 99 or the Porsche-powered cars. But, for today, I’m very happy.”

The top-five in qualifying were the following teams:

1. SunTrust Racing (No. 10 Chevrolet Dallara) with Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli (1:40.691 at 1:21.560 mph)
2. Spirit of Daytona Racing (No. 90 Chevrolet Coyote) with Paul Edwards and Antonio Garcia (1:40.909 at 121.297 mph)
3. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (No. 01 BMW Riley) with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (1:41.011 at 1:21.175 mph)
4. Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing (No. 99 Chevrolet Riley) with Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty (1:41.787 at 120.251 mph)
5. Doran Racing (No. 77 Ford Dallara) with Brian Frisselle, Henri Richard and Matt Bell (1:42.407 at 119.523 mph)