Wayne Taylor Racing's Suntrust liveried Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype will start the 50th edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona from the outside of the front row after Italian Max Angelelli lapped the Daytona International Speedway road course in 1:41.240.
The time was just over 0.1 seconds off the pole position time set by Ryan Dalziel in the no.8 Starworks Motorsport entry.
Despite lining up in a promising position for the start of the race, Angelelli was disappointed to have missed out on the top spot, having set the best time in the first official practice.
“I can't hide the fact that I am deeply disappointed at not winning the pole today,” said Angelelli, who shares the no.10 car with regaulr co-driver Ricky Taylor and visiting Indycar driver Ryan Briscoe. “This is the most important race of the year and I always want to start the biggest race from the pole. I wasn't expecting to end up P2, but I still feel our car is very fast and I still feel that, for the 24-hour, our car will be the car to beat.”
“I believe the key for everybody will be reliability with these new cars here this year. With the new cars, we have no idea what's going to happen, what could happen. We've never run these cars longer than one hour at a time, and that would leave us 23 to go. So, I'm expecting issues for everybody. I can't believe we'll see cars finishing without any issues. We feel pretty strong with our SunTrust Corvette, though. We've made a lot of changes since we began this project and we feel positive.”
The front of the Rolex 24 field is dominated by the brand new Riley and Corvette designs, and two top teams – one from each camp – have already encountered problems and failed to take any part in qualifying.
“The pole is always great, but it's still the Rolex 24 and it only counts what happens starting Saturday afternoon,” said team owner Wayne Taylor. “All I can think about is that Max and I won this race in 2005 when we qualified second, and I won it in 1996 when I qualified second. Maybe it's an omen. The pressure's on those guys who won the pole, now. They came here never having turned a wheel with that car and they got the pole. They did great. Congratulations to them. But, you know, it only counts where everybody is on Sunday afternoon when the checkered flag falls.”
“I'm not going to let us get down because we only qualified second. Reliability will be a big question mark for all of us with brand new cars, obviously. But I'm confident in the work the team has done. They have been focusing clearly and all along to make this a 24-hour car. And it has been relatively fast, comfortably, and that's just a bonus. I'm not beat. We're definitely looking forward to making good things happen on Saturday and Sunday, and that's what counts.”