Angelelli Takes Rolex Pole Position At Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, N. Y. – In an abbreviated qualification session, Max Angelelli put the SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley back-up car on the pole for Saturday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the seventh race of the season for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

Qualification runs were cut short when Ricardo Zonta slid off the course two or three minutes into the session, ending the session after two laps had been completed. Several drivers did not have the opportunity to complete a fast lap.

Angelelli toured the 11-turn, 3.4-mile Watkins Glen road course at a speed of 118.964 miles per hour. For the six-hour race, Michael Valiante will co-drive with Angelelli.

“Frankly, I didn’t do much,” Angelelli said. “All the guys did everything. Eighteen days ago we lost everything and the crew put the car together in this time frame. This (pole) is what they deserve.”

The SunTrust team’s transporter with the primary car and equipment burned to the ground in Texas ten days ago en route home from the race at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.

With assistance from numerous parties, the SunTrust team began preparing its back-up car, which had not been raced since the Rolex24 at Daytona. “The car had been parked in the shop and hadn’t been touched until the fire occurred,” Angelelli said. The car had been for sale up to the time of the fire.

Said team co-owner Wayne Taylor, “The amazing thing is that Max did it (the pole) in one lap. We have learned from experience that you have to go out early, as so many incidents have occurred just after qualifying starts. To put this car on the pole is pretty incredible.”

Brian Frisselle qualified second fastest in the AIM Motorsport Ford Riley. His speed was 118.829 mph and his co-driver is Mark Wilkins.

Said Frisselle, “I wasn’t expecting my lap to be the quick lap, but I am happy to be on the front row. We are the only Daytona Prototype to qualify inside the top 5 in each race this season.”

Mark Wilkins will co-drive with Frisselle.

Memo Gidley qualified the Doran Ford Dallara third with David Donohue fourth fastest in the Brumos Porsche.

Fifth and sixth fastest were Ian James in a Ford Riley and Bill Auberlen in a new Porsche Crawford.

Due to the abbreviated session, 2007 race winner Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will start far back in 16th and Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas will be in 17th.

Nineteen Daytona Prototypes will be in the race along with 26 GT entries.

GT speed honors went to first-time fast qualifier Jeff Segal and co-drivers Emil Assentato and Nick Longhi. Segal’s speed in the Speed Source Mazda RX-8 was 108.966 mph.

Second and third fastest GT qualifiers were Paul Edwards in a Pontiac GXP.R and Wolf Henzler in a Porsche GT3 Cup car.

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