SunTrust Racing dumps Pontiac for Ford
The No. 10 SunTrust Dallara Daytona Prototype of Wayne Taylor Racing will enter its sixth season of Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series competition in 2009 with a new engine manufacturer for the very first time.
The team announced it will run Ford power built by Roush Yates Engines of Mooresville, N.C., which is a leading engine builder in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series, as well as the Rolex Series and FIA GT. The SunTrust Racing program had been powered by Pontiac since joining the Rolex Series in 2004, and in 66 races over the past five seasons had scored 12 wins, 33 podium finishes, 43 top-fives and 10 pole positions, highlighted by the 2005 Rolex Series championship run co-driven by Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor.
Angelelli, whose 12 victories ranks second on the all-time Rolex Series win list to Scott Pruett, will be joined in 2009 by new co-driver Brian Frisselle, the 24-year-old American from Aspen, Colo., who scored his first two career Rolex Series victories on back-to-back weekends this past August at Montreal and Watkins Glen with the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford-powered team.
“We are looking forward to turning the page to a new chapter in our racing endeavors with Ford power and Roush Yates engines, even though I’ll admit it was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in all my years in the business,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “It’s difficult for me, personally, because GM (General Motors) has been a big part of my racing success since I came to this country in 1989. I’ve won two championships with GM power, two 24-hour races and the 12 Hours of Sebring.”
Ford-powered Daytona Prototypes, all featuring Roush Yates Engines, won four of the last five Rolex Series races in 2008 and qualified on the pole four times in 14 events overall. Only Pontiac had more pole positions with five – four by the SunTrust team’s Angelelli and co-driver Michael Valiante – this past season, and Ford’s four victories was second only to Lexus, which scored six victories by series driver champions Pruett and Memo Rojas. Ford finished second in the manufacturer points to Pontiac.
“We are excited to have SunTrust and Wayne Taylor Racing join our lineup,” said John Maddox, sports car racing support manager for Roush Yates Engines. “As a sponsor and a racing operation, SunTrust and Wayne Taylor Racing certainly have a winning tradition, and they are known for a level of quality and performance as competitors that is second to none.”