ATLANTA (Sept. 14, 2007) – Wayne Taylor Racing, which campaigns the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, announced today that it will be the first team to field a Daytona Prototype chassis produced by Dallara Automobili Spa of Parma, Italy, beginning with Round 2 of the 2008 Rolex Series season.
The Dallara chassis project has been the focus of intensive R&D and aerodynamic studies at the company’s facilities in Italy since March of this year in an effort to bring a competitive package to the Rolex Series in 2008.
"Even though the SunTrust Racing program has enjoyed a highly successful four-year run with the Riley chassis since it came into the series in 2004, it’s clear that the series has evolved to the point where we felt the need to venture into new territory in our efforts to remain perennial championship contenders," said Wayne Taylor, whose team will run the Pontiac Riley package one last time at the 2008 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"Certainly, with the success we’ve had, this has been a very difficult decision," Taylor continued. "But we are very excited to be part of the Dallara Daytona Prototype program. Dallara, after all, has a long history of championships in all forms of motorsports, and we hope to play a part in its successful future in the Rolex Series, as well. Thanks to the full support of our sponsor SunTrust, we can keep ourselves on the leading technological edge and remain a threat to win Rolex Series races each and every weekend. Plus, it’s a thrill to be able to expand the series’ global reach beyond the North American chassis marketplace. This truly helps elevate the Rolex Series on the world motorsports stage."
Lead driver Max Angelelli, who once again has the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley vying for the 2007 series championship at Saturday’s Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, has a long history with Dallara during a successful open-wheel career in Europe and Japan. Angelelli won the 1992 Italian Formula 3 championship driving a Dallara.
"We have had a fantastic time with Riley the past four seasons," Angelelli said. "But I have also had a special place in my heart for Dallara throughout my career. Since my first race in single-seaters until my last year in that category, it was all Dallara. I have always wanted a chance to do something with them again in my career, and that chance is now here."
Even though it is a relative newcomer to the modern-day Rolex Series, Dallara prototypes are no strangers to endurance racing competition. Most recently, the Doran Lista Racing Judd Dallara scored the overall victory at the 2002 Rolex 24 At Daytona, and the team also enjoyed success campaigning the Ferrari 333-powered Dallara prototype.
Dallara has purchased a Grand-Am constructor’s license from current series chassis constructor Doran Enterprises. The agreement between the two companies includes the provision that Doran will be the official Dallara spare parts distributor and the approved repair center for its Daytona Prototypes and will run a race team using the new chassis beginning in 2008. Dallara plans a limited production run for the 2008 season.
Gian Paolo Dallara – President, Dallara Automobili
"We are extremely delighted to be coming to the very competitive Grand-Am Rolex Series," said Dr. Gian Paolo Dallara, president of Dallara Automobili Spa. "We undertook this project because of the strong desire of our company to be involved in an open, challenging series where constructors have technical freedom and an opportunity to demonstrate their competitiveness every weekend against rival constructors. We look forward to working with SunTrust, Wayne Taylor Racing and Doran Enterprises in the ongoing evolution of the Dallara Daytona Prototype chassis."
Kevin Doran – President, Doran Enterprises
"Doran Enterprises is excited to begin the next phase of Grand American Daytona Prototype racing by transferring our Daytona Prototype constructor’s license to Dallara Automobili," said Doran Enterprises principle Kevin Doran. "With the Daytona Prototype class growing so quickly and becoming extremely competitive, it will require a company with Dallara’s experience and resources to continue the winning tradition we have started in Daytona Prototypes. I am looking forward to achieving many successes with the Dallara Daytona Prototype."
Roger Edmondson – President, Grand-Am
"This is a great announcement in more ways than one," said Grand-Am President Roger Edmondson. "SunTrust and Wayne Taylor Racing have been standard bearers of excellence in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series since they began with us in 2004 and now they continue as one of the premier teams of our newest chassis supplier, Dallara. I think it is safe to assume that the combination of SunTrust, Wayne Taylor Racing, Dallara and Pontiac will continue their race- and championship-winning ways. We are also very happy that the new Dallara relationship will also allow Doran Enterprises, one of our founding Daytona Prototype chassis constructors, to continue in Grand-Am Rolex Series competition."
About Dallara Automobili Spa (http://www.dallara.it/) – Dallara is based near Parma in Italy and was founded in 1972 by Dr Gian Paolo Dallara. The company has ‘state of the art’ design, development and manufacturing facilities and employs 150 staff. Principle activities are race car design and manufacture and aerodynamic and design consultancy to the automotive industry. Dallara has had a long and successful history in racing and currently supplies cars to the following series: Indy Car, Indy Pro Series, GP2, World Series by Renault and Formula 3 World Wide. For more information please contact: Nick Langley, sales and marketing director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of June 30, 2007, SunTrust had total assets of $180.3 billion and total deposits of $122.9 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels. The Company also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the Company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, equipment leasing and capital markets services. SunTrust’s Internet address is suntrust.com.