Photo by John Thawley Alton, Virginia, April 29, 2007 - Max Angelelli and Jan Magnussen raced their No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype (DP) to the team's first win of the season in round four of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway today. The 10 car was followed closely to the finish line by the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac.
Jan Magnussen started the SunTrust Pontiac from the third row after a difficult series of practice sessions. The crew of the 10 car made the changes necessary to the Pontiac powered Riley creating the car to beat at VIR this afternoon. After the second round of pit stops, Max Angelelli took over the lead on lap 53 and never looked back, winning by a three-second margin.
"We have always been good at this track," Angelelli said. "We had a difficult car during the practice sessions and we didn't qualify that great. The team tore into the car and it was great for the race. This is the first win for Wayne Taylor Racing and it's a real lift for the team. We are now leading the points so that sets us up for the rest of the year."
Colin Braun started the 77-lap race in his Pontiac powered Krohn Racing Riley from the pole position. Braun proceeded to gap the field by as much as 13-seconds before pitting on lap 45. Max Papis took over and lost the lead to the 10 car, but held position to finish second, making it a Pontiac one-two.
"I inherited the lead from Colin after his great starting stint," Papis said. "The car was a little loose for me on entry to the corners and I couldn't hold the speed. The 10 car was really fast and I had to let him go. It was a good performance by the team and it turned out to be a good points day for us."
The No. 11 SAMAX Pontiac Riley continues to hover toward the top of DP points and race finish standings. This week the car was driven by Jean-Francois Dumoulin and Ryan Dalziel, both new to the car and team. Dumoulin started the car from his ninth place qualifying position and ran strong in the top ten during his stint. Dalziel took over and proceeded to move the Pontiac powered Riley to the front and had the car running in third on the start of the last lap. The team had experienced radio trouble all race and Dalziel did not hear the crew tell him to switch the fuel setting to reserve and the motor stumbled allowing a competitor by and relegating the team to fourth place.
"I was waiting for the stumble on the fuel and it came at exactly the wrong time," Dalziel said. "We had radio problems and I did not hear the team tell me to go to reserve. We had a strong car, especially down the straight. I am excited for the finish as well as disappointed. We had a podium spot with less than a lap to go. But the strategy was right on and the team did a great job to get us in that position today."
Jim Matthews and Marc Goosens qualified their Riley-Matthews Motorsport Pontiac Riley in 13th place. Mathews started the car and held position before turning over to Goosens. The Belgian took the fight to the front runners and brought an ill handling car home in seventh.
"We were fighting oversteer off of the corner all race," Goosens said. "The team made a great call to make a wing adjustment during the yellow, costing us a little time on pit road, but it paid off on the track. The car was better in practice, but maybe the longer stints caused it to go away more than we anticipated. We had good power down the straight, but getting off the turn hurt us today, but a top ten finish is a good result."
Round five of the Grand-Am series will take place May 18 - 20 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The GT cars will race on May 19 with DP on May 20.