WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL - Pontiac Moves To Top In Daytona Prototype Points

WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL - Pontiac Moves To Top In Daytona Prototype Points

08.08.2006: WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL - Pontiac Moves To Top In Daytona Prototype Points

Now Leads in Rolex Series Manufacturers Points Heading to Watkins Glen International, Site of Strong Finishes for its Teams



Pontiac's Daytona Prototype (DP) teams are gearing up for the 13th round of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series held at Watkins Glen International and three Pontiac teams, in particular, are enjoying momentum that has, as of late, propelled the brand to the top of the manufacturers championship points. SunTrust Racing, GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing and Lowe's Fernandez Racing have all scored wins or podium finishes recently and if past performance is any indication of what is still to come, Pontiac stands a very good chance of boosting that points lead as the series heads into the last three races of the season.

"I'm looking forward to this race because in my opinion, Watkins Glen is one of the best road courses in North America," said Wayne Taylor, co-driver and owner of Surrey Sport LLC, which campaigns the #10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley. "Unfortunately, because of the NASCAR Nextel Cup series is racing there this weekend, we'll only be using the short course. But it's still a very high-speed track and we won two races there last year. I won't actually drive this race, Max (Angelelli) will drive with Ryan Briscoe again."

Briscoe, a successful IndyCar driver from Australia, drove with Taylor and full-time co-driver Angelelli in the previous race at The Glen. The trio placed third in the six-hour event and Taylor is confident that the 25-year-old Aussie will give SunTrust and Pontiac a good finish.

"Ryan did a terrific job for us at the six-hours and we figured this was the ideal event to get him back in the car," stated Taylor. "I won't be able to drive as I've got much work to do to get our team ready for next year but between Max and Ryan, we're in good shape. Our goal is to win the team and driver championships again and we'll everything we can to help Pontiac score a third-straight manufacturer's championship."

SunTrust Racing has climbed up to second in team points and now trails the #76 Krohn Racing team by only 13 points. Max Angelelli is also second in driver points behind Jörg Bergmeister and, as of the last race at Barber Motorsports Park, Pontiac leads Ford by two points and Lexus by four in the manufacturers standings.

SunTrust Racing isn't the only one having a strong second-half of the season. Both GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing and Lowe's Fernandez Racing have consistently finished strongly. The #99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley co-drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty are looking for a fifth-straight top-five finish and their team is fifth in points. Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld of the Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley have scored two wins this season and are ninth in team points.

"I have been looking forward to going back to Watkins Glen since we were there in June, "said Haberfeld. "We had a really good race car there, but unfortunately starting positions were determined by points standings and then we got caught on slicks in the middle of the race when it started raining. So we could not take advantage of our good car. Hopefully, we will be even better this time and we will get the result that we know we are capable of. Things have been going consistently well at the racetrack for most of the season after a little bit of a rough start. Our Pontiac power has been getting better and better."

Pontiac's three GTO.Rs will not be racing this weekend as the shortened DP-only format will not allow the production-based race cars to compete. As of the most recent race at Barber Motorsports Park, the GTO.Rs have extended their podium finish record (with a win) and have now seven wins, 10 additional podium finishes (16 including the wins) and a podium sweep for 2006.

The thirteenth leg of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen, will take place on Friday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m. EDT and will air on SPEED TV at 9:00 p.m. EDT.


- Steve Smith-

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08.08.2006 / MaP

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