News & Multimedia

SunTrust Ends Daytona Testing On Top

Courtesy of Speed.com

After three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway, it became clear the new Corvette DPs are the cars to beat. The Bow Tie swept the top-five positions in combined testing times as GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series teams prepare for the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Max Angelelli nearly saved the best for last, as the rapid Italian put his No. 10 SunTrust Racing Corvette DP on the top of the time charts in Sunday's first of two final sessions. The Italian's 1:41.142 lap time held as the quickest of the weekend, which saw speeds in the Daytona Prototype category increase across the board.

“You’ve got to understand that we were pushing the limit and, in the first session today, we did a qualifying run under the perfect conditions – low fuel, new tires, a good, clear lap, no mistakes," Angelelli explained. "It was the perfect lap.

"Obviously we’re happy, but not because of that lap. We’re happy because we did eight practices without a single issue. Our SunTrust Corvette ran really well the entire time. So far, I’ve never had a January test as good as this one. It’s been great, very successful."

The Dallara-chassied SunTrust entry of Angelelli and co-drivers Ricky Taylor and IndyCar star Ryan Briscoe recorded the quickest lap time in four of the eight timed sessions, making the Wayne Taylor Racing team one of the early favorites heading into the around-the-clock marathon later this month.

"I think the guys have done a good job," Wayne Taylor said. "They’ve taken the time to make sure the car is ready for the race. We did try to simulate a qualifying lap with Max this morning and we did a really good lap.

"I’m not sure if we can go any faster than that. But the main thing, at this point, is we have a car that all three drivers are really happy to drive. I’m really happy that we can take two good weeks to regroup and get ready for the big one.”

The two Action Express Racing Corvette DPs ended up second and third quickest on the combined time charts, ahead of the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing machine, which posted a weekend-best 1:41.541 on Sunday morning. Spirit of Daytona's Corvette DP completed the top-five overall and in class after overcoming gearbox failure on Sunday morning.

While the new-generation Daytona Prototypes clearly showed the way, with even in the case of the third-gen Riley run by Michael Shank Racing and defending Rolex 24 winners and series champions Chip Ganassi Racing, the 2011-spec DPs were performance balanced through the use of a drag plate underneath the wing.

According to Krohn Racing motorsports manager Jeff Hazell, who is fielding a grandfathered Proto-Auto Lola-Ford, times from this weekend's test may not show the true outcome of the recent BoP changes to the aerodynamics of the second-generation DPs.

“GRAND-AM's intention to balance the performance of the cars is really a difficult task with the tools that they presently have at their disposal," said Hazell. "The wind tunnel work they conducted, of course, needs to be validated and verified on the track.

"If the intention was to do this during these test days, then that work has been made difficult with the misleading lap times of the cars either caught in traffic or compromised by the teams who are not going to show their hand in case they incur further restrictions to their car’s performance from GRAND-AM.

"So, the lap time and lap section times that GRAND-AM has, at best, are confusing and don’t give the clear data that is needed to make accurate changes between here and the race.”

The quickest 2011-spec DP was the No. 2 Starworks Motorsports Riley-Ford of Ryan Dalziel, Enzo Potolicchio, Alex Popow, Lucas Luhr and Allan McNish at a 1:41.880 lap time, nearly eight-tenths off the pace-setting Corvette.

In GT, it was all about Ferrari, as the No. 03 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Am of Guy Cosmo was quickest on Sunday with a 1:49.337 lap time.

But it was fellow American Le Mans Series squad Risi Competizione that ended up the best of the weekend, thanks to Toni Vilander's 1:49.239 set on Saturday in his No. 63 Ferrari.

Risi, along with a handful of other cars, didn't participate in Sunday's third and final day of testing, opting instead pack up and make further preparations away from the track.

“It’s been a very positive test with the new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am and we learned a lot over the two days," Vilander said. "I’m happy to be here in Daytona and am really starting to understand the full meaning of the Rolex 24 at Daytona – it’s a huge and impressive event."

A total of 60 cars (14 Daytona Prototype, 46 GT) took part in the Roar Before The Rolex 24 test, with nearly all expected back for the GRAND-AM season-opener, which scheduled for Jan. 28-29.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
SunTrust Ends Daytona Testing On Top
 
SunTrust Ends Daytona Testing On Top
After three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway, it became clear the new Corvette DPs are the cars to beat. The Bow Tie swept the top-five positions in combined testing times as GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series teams prepare for the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Read More
Related Media
Hulman Terrace Club
 
On-Sale Now, Hulman Terrace Club Offers Premium Seating for IMS Events
The Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway of the famed 2.5-mile oval, features some of the best views of the track plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option. All tickets to the Hulman Terrace Club were sold in its inaugural season in 2016. Space is limited, so fans interested in tickets should act now.
Read More
NASCAR Format
 
NASCAR Enhances On-Track Product with New Stage-Based Race Format
NASCAR, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, announced an enhanced competition format that will be implemented in all three of its national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Read More
Jimmie Johnson
 
IMS Statement on New NASCAR Format
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles release the following statement regarding format changes announced by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series officials this evening:
Read More
Carl Edwards
 
IMS Statement on Retirement of Carl Edwards
Edwards first ran the Brickyard 400 in 2005. He placed in the top ten three times, finishing second in 2008. Over the course of his NASCAR career he compiled 28 race victories, 22 poles and 124 top five finishes.
Read More
Alexander Rossi
 
IMS President Doug Boles Shares Favorite Moments of 2016
As we quickly close in on 2017, I thought it might be appropriate to recall 16 of my favorite moments from this historic year! These are clearly not all of the memories I will take away from this awesome year and they are not in any particular order.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 717
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Next stop - @IRE2seater! Happy 95 days until the 101st Running of the #Indy500! #101bottles https://t.co/I1njwCbOXf
about 11 hours ago