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SunTrust Makes It Two Straight In Grand-Am

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, June 4 2011

The SunTrust Grand-Am team won its second straight race on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the Rolex Grand-Am Series)

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Ricky Taylor held off Scott Pruett by 3.839 seconds Saturday to win the 30th Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

Taylor was joined by Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Dallara, winning his second consecutive Rolex Series race from the pole.

Pruett and Memo Rojas were seeking their fourth consecutive victory in the event – the second-longest race on the GRAND-AM Rolex Series schedule.

An off-track excursion by Paul Dalla Lana in the closing minutes led to the fifth and final caution, setting the stage for a three-lap sprint to the checkered flag. Running as the closing driver for the first time with SunTrust Racing, the 21-year-old driver from Apopka, Fla., resident was able to pull away from Pruett to take his third career DP victory – and 17th for Angelelli.

Pruett and Rojas failed to win for the third consecutive event, after the drivers of the No. 01 TELMEXBMW/Riley won 12 of 14 races over a two-year stretch. They retained the points lead, while Taylor and Angelelli continued to gain ground by moving up to second, 19 points back (193-174).

Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty finished third in the No, 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley, followed by Ozz Negri and John Pew in the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford/Riley.

Leh Keen and Andrew Davis led Brumos Racing to its first victory in the production-based GT class, co-driving the No. 59 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. It was the team’s first victory at Watkins Glen since 2003, when David Donohue helped the team win in the debut of the DP class in the Sahlen’s Six Hours.

The final caution helped Keen gain nearly a lap on Tommy Milner – co-driving with Jordan Taylor and Bill Lester in the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro – and Jeff Segal, who teamed with Emil Assentato in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8.

Milner held off Segal to finish second, allowing GT pole winner Jordan Taylor and Lester to scoretheir third consecutive top-two finish. That boosted Taylor and Lester to a three-point lead in the GTpoints standings over Keen and Davis (165-162).

Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen held the lead cominginto the event but finished 11th in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, and are now third in thepoints.

Notes

– Burt Frisselle joined Action Express Racing and helped David Donohue and Darren Law finish fifthin the No. 5 Porsche/Riley. It was the team’s fifth-straight top-five finish.

– Guy Cosmo made his first Rolex Series appearance since the 2010 Rolex At Daytona. He finishedthird in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8, joining defending series champions Jeff Segal and EmilAssentato.

– Coming off a GT victory at Lime Rock Park, Robin Liddell qualified second in the No. 57 Stevenson Automotive Group Chevrolet Camaro. His car was badly damaged in a Lap 5 incident when acar spun directly in front of him. The team managed to repair it so that he was able to return in order toscore championship points.

– TRG came to The Glen with victories in the last two Rolex Series endurance races – winning the2010 Sahlen’s Six Hours and the 2011 Rolex 24. However, Steven Bertheau was involved in an earlyincident and the car was retired early.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, June 4 2011
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