ATLANTA (Feb. 20, 2007) – Veteran Formula One, Champ Car and sports car racer Jan Magnussen of Denmark has been named as co-driver alongside Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley of Wayne Taylor Racing for the next three Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series events at Mexico City, Homestead, Fla., and Virginia International Raceway in Alton.
Last month, the 33-year-old Magnussen teamed with Angelelli, team-owner Wayne Taylor and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon in driving the SunTrust Racing Daytona Prototype to its third podium finish in the last four season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance events, a streak that includes a victory in 2005 en route to that season’s Rolex Series championship.
Magnussen helped the SunTrust team to a third-place finish in the season championship in 2006, joining Angelelli as co-driver at six Rolex Series events, five of which resulted in top-fives. Magnussen drove the SunTrust Pontiac to its only pole position of 2006 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., and co-drove to its only victory of the season at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. Magnussen and Angelelli also co-drove last season to a runner-up finish at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., and fourth-place finishes at Phoenix International Raceway and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
"Jan is truly one of the best drivers in the world and there is a lot of demand for his services, so we are very thrilled to have him on board with us for the next three races," said Taylor, a 30-year sports car veteran who has co-driven with Angelelli in the SunTrust Pontiac since the 2004 season, and this past offseason formed Wayne Taylor Racing to carry on the SunTrust Racing legacy. "Getting Jan into the driver’s seat has always been a priority for us. When he became available, and because of the great job he’s done with us both on and off the track since last season, I think he is the ideal driver to team with Max. They’re both cut from the same mold, and together they will be hard to beat. If you just look at sheer speed, both Max and Jan are two of the quickest drivers in all of sports car racing. It’s ultimately important to have drivers who know how to win, who know how to be team players, and who know how to provide good technical feedback."
A factory driver for General Motors in recent years, Magnussen drove a factory Corvette to GT1-class victories at the 24 Hour of Le Mans in France and the Petit Le Mans outside Atlanta both in 2004 and 2005. He also has raced a TRG Pontiac GTO.R in the Rolex Series GT class over the last three seasons, as well as several stints in the Doran Lista prototype.
This year, Magnussen will vie for the Danish Touring Car Championship, a title he last won in 2003.
"This is a great deal for me because I really enjoy working with Wayne and Max and it continues to allow me to be a part of one of the most successful programs in sports car racing," Magnussen said. "It’s a new team, on paper, but we realized at Daytona that it is capable of doing great things. We came back from five laps down to get a podium finish, so that was a great start to the season and it gives us a lot to build on.
"The equipment is obviously first-class. Travis Jacobson is one of the best engineers in the paddock. The Pontiac engine is excellent. I’m going to do everything I can to help get us some victories this year.
"One of the best things about driving for Wayne and Max is, even though I’m not personally running for the championship, there is no holding back. I absolutely go for it every time I get the chance to drive a race car, and Wayne and Max let me do that, as long as I’m smart and don’t wreck anything. It’s a great situation all the way around."
The next event on the 14-race Rolex Series schedule is Round Two on March 3 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the former Formula One circuit in downtown Mexico City. Round Three is March 24 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Round Four on April 29 at Virginia International Raceway. The Mexico City race is part of a NASCAR Busch Series weekend event, while the Homestead race is part of the IRL IndyCar Series’ season-opener in South Florida.
SunTrust Banks, Inc., with total assets of $182.2 billion on December 31, 2006, is one of the nation’s largest and strongest financial holding companies. Through its banking subsidiaries, the company provides deposit, credit, trust, and investment services to a broad range of retail, business, and institutional clients. Other subsidiaries provide credit cards, mortgage banking, credit-related insurance, brokerage, equipment leasing and capital markets services. Atlanta-based SunTrust enjoys leading market positions in some of the highest growth markets in the United States and also serves clients in selected markets nationally. The company operates 1,701 retail branches and 2,569 ATMs in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In addition, SunTrust provides customers with a full range of technology-based banking channels, including Internet, PC, and Automated Telephone Banking.