Despite qualifying second for the Rolex 24 at Daytona Max Angelelli was still frustrated.
“Our car is a polesitter car, definitely not a second-place car,” he said. “But the team did a fantastic job and gave me a good car. I couldn't put together the ultimate lap – too many mistakes – and I'm second. But the car is very capable of starting from the pole, and it will be very good for the race, so it's good.”
Angelelli and SunTrust Racing are something of qualifying specialists at Daytona International Speedway. The Italian claimed pole position for the team last year, add has put the team's car on the front row three further times before Thursday's session.
His time of 1:40.133 was just 34 thousandths behind the pole lap of Joerg Bergmesiter in the Flying Lizard Motorsports entry. Both Bergmeister and Angelelli were among the six drivers to lap faster than the Daytona Prototype lap record around the 3.56 mile, 12 turn road course that was set by David Donahue at the 2009 race. The times were doubtless helped by the resurfacing of the Superspeedway completed over the off-season.
The result is also a positive start for SunTrust's new partnership, Chevrolet now providing the team's engines after switching from Ford.
“I know Max is disappointed because he thinks – we all think – we had the car for the pole,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “But I think P2 is still a great result. He ran really great laps consistently, so I think we have a great racecar. You know, last year we qualified on the pole here and nothing happened. Both times I've qualified P2, we won the race. In '96, I qualified second and won and, in 2005, we qualified second and won. So that's a good position. It's on the front row. Obviously, the team did a fantastic job. A big thanks to Chevrolet and ECR [Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies] for the new engines. You know, it only counts what happens on Sunday, but it's a great start.”