Since joining the Rolex Series grid in 2004 Watkins Glen has been good to Wayne Taylor's SunTrust Racing team.
In eight visits for the annuals Sahlen's Six Hour race the team, anchored by Max Angelelli, has only finished off the podium on a single occasion. However, it was not until last year that Angelelli and Ricky Taylor finally got the team's first factory in the prestigious race, putting in a faultless performance over the weekend which also included pole position in qualifying.
With such history a ninth visit to the track – and the first as defending champions in the six hour race – couldn't have come at a better time as the team try to pull out of a dive down the points standings brought about by three consecutive DNFs in the races immediately leading up to this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
“I think it will be very nice [to come back to Watkins Glen], coming off the bad weekend and all,” said Ricky Taylor. “This weekend, it'll be nice to be somewhere we have some confidence and I can go back to somewhere we had such a good year last year, both weekends. We hope we can get back to where the car will be fast and make up for my mistakes the last few races. We were the dominant car at both Watkins Glen races last year, but I definitely think it'll be much more challenging this year.”
The season continues to bring new challenges, with much of Daytona Prototype field in bland new-spec car, including SunTrust Racing with their Chevrolet Corvette DP.
“We don't quite have that book of experience there with this package, yet,” Taylor adds. “But we know what the car needs and we know what makes a good car there. All of that, combined with the new rule changes, with the extra RPMs for the Fords and the BMW, that's only going to make it more interesting.”
This weekend's race is also the second part of the three race North American Endurance Championship (NAEC). Unfortunately, in the first race of the series – January's Rolex 24 at Daytona – SunTrust recorded another DNF after mechanical problems in the opening hours of the 50th edition of the famous endurance race.
However, another strong at Watkins Glen, and a little luck, could bring Angelelli and Taylor back into both the main championship fight, and the race to be the first NAEC winners.