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Ganassi Team Derailed; SunTrust Wins Classic At Lime Rock

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, May 30 2011

The SunTrust Daytona Prototype drove to victory at Lime Rock on Monday. (Photos courtesy of the Rolex Grand-Am Series)

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Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor won the Memorial Day Classic Rolex Grand-Am Series race at Lime Rock Park while Daytona Prototype championship leaders Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett struggled after an incident early in the race.

Taylor won the pole earlier Monday in the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Dallara and led the opening 46 laps before the driver change. Angelelli didn‟t miss a beat, leading twice for 107 laps – including thefinal 57, as the team led all but 30 of the 183 circuits.

“It is fantastic for everyone on this SunTrust Chevy team,” said Angelelli. “They just did a fantastic job. The car was so pleasing to drive. It was really relaxing, I had a good time. This win was one of the easiest and thanks to Ricky Taylor. He did an amazing job in his stint with what he did and the way he pulled away. Amazing job.”

“Max was awesome,” said Taylor. “I think the engineers hit the nail right on the head today with the setup. Just awesome. So happy for SunTrust on Memorial Day. Thinking about our troops here. Fantastic.”

Ozz Negri finished second, 26.026 seconds behind, joining John Pew in the best finish of the season for Michael Shank Racing‟s No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford/Riley.

Ryan Dalziel and Mike Forest took their second podium finish of the year, taking third in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley.

For the second straight year, Rojas had an off-course excursion that damaged the No. 01 TELMEX

Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor celebrate Memorial Day Classic victory.

BMW/Riley.

While the damage was not as severe as 2010‟s first-lap incident, the team lost eight laps replacing the splitter and fell to ninth position. Pruett managed to make up a lap and regain two positions – turning the fastest lap of the race in the process.

They now have a 21-point lead in the DP standings over sixth-place finishers JC France, Terry Borcheller and Joao Barbosa (161-140), with Taylor and Angelelli one point back in third. Spirit of Daytona Racing ran in the top three for most of the 2-hour, 45-minute event, with both Paul Edwards and Antonio Garcia leading a combined 26 laps in the No. 90 Chevrolet/Coyote.

However, the team retired in the final half hour with broken shift linkage.

The GT race also went to the pole-winning car, with Robin Liddell and Jan Magnussen claiming the first victory of the season for the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

The pair combined to lead 107 laps, with Magnussen pacing the final 79 circuits. Among its

GT driver Bill Lester meets the fans at Lime Rock.

winnings, the team claimed a$25,000 Horsepower Award bonus posted by Continental Tire.

“Everything just went our way today,” said an emotional Liddell after the race. “Thanks to the guys for persevering as hard as they have and to Stevenson Motorsports and Chevrolet for all of their support. Just very emotional because my Dad passed away three weeks ago so more than anything, just want to dedicate this to him.”

Coming off their first GT victory in the most recent race at Virginia International Raceway, JordanTaylor and Bill Lester finished second in the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

Lester‟s victory was the first by an African-American in a Rolex Series race. Leh Keen and Andrew Davis finished third in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana retained the GT point after finishing sixth in the No. 94 TurnerMotorsport BMW M3 – also driven by Joey Hand.

Lester and Taylor moved up to second, eighth pointsbehind (141-133), with fourth-place finishers Dane Cameron and James Gue in the No. 41 DempseyRacing Mazda RX-8 another five points back.

Boris Said and Eric Curran had their best outing of the season in the No. 31 Whelen EngineeringCorvette. Said led for 62 laps in the early going for Marsh Racing, the lone Connecticut-based team in the Rolex Series.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Monday, May 30 2011
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