IZOD IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe has been named to join Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor behind the wheel of the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara prototype of Wayne Taylor Racing at the 2011 Grand-AmRolex Sports Car Series season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Briscoe is no stranger to the SunTrust team as the 2011 renewal of the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic on the 3.56-mile Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road circuit will be his seventh career Rolex Series event and his fifth Rolex 24.
“We are obviously very much looking forward to having Ryan in the SunTrust car with Max and Ricky because it truly gives us a driver lineup that can deliver a win for SunTrust Racing,” said team owner and three-time sports car racing champion Wayne Taylor, who co-drove with Angelelli in the SunTrust Racing machine to win the 2005 edition of the Rolex 24 en route to that year's Rolex Series championship.
“I think we'll have one of the strongest lineups in the entire field, and with our new Chevrolet engine, I think we'll have a very good chance. Three years ago, we had Ryan in the SunTrust lineup but, unfortunately, he didn't have the chance to drive because Emmanuel (Collard) had an accident in the early part of the race that ended our weekend. But he drove to a podium finish for us in the Penske-Taylor Racing car in 2008, and came back in 2009 with another strong finish in the Penske car. The really neat thing is that he already has a good relationship with Max and Ricky, and having been a representative for SunTrust the last few years, it'll be like a family affair.”
Briscoe teamed with Castroneves and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch to score a third-place finish in the 2008 Rolex 24 in the No. 9 Penske-Taylor Racing entry. In 2009, Briscoe finished sixth alongside Penske Racing Rolex Series regulars Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas at the Rolex 24. He made his first appearance at the endurance marathon in 2005, co-driving to a seventh-place finish with Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates entry.
“I'm excited to be back with the SunTrust team once again,” said Briscoe. “I've had a great working relationship with SunTrust over the last several years and, to be back in their racecar with such a strong driver-car combination in such a prestigious racing event, I'm confident that we can be there fighting for the win at the end. The Rolex 24 is definitely something that every road racer would like to win, and I think we have a good chance with the SunTrust team in 2011.”
Briscoe was entered in three events with the SunTrust team during the 2006 Rolex Series season. An early race accident prevented him from ever getting in the car at the season-opening Rolex 24, but he came back to drive to consecutive podium finishes later that year at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International – a third-place finish co-driving with Angelelli and Wayne Taylor in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, and a second-place finish co-driving with Angelelli in the August 200-mile sprint race.
The 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona is set for Jan. 29-30. Briscoe will also join the SunTrust team at the annual Roar Before the 24 Test Days at Daytona Jan. 7-9. The SunTrust team in 2011 will look to improve on last year's second-place finish in the Rolex Series standings – its sixth top-three finish in the final points in the seven seasons since it joined the circuit in 2004, a stretch highlighted by the series championship for SunTrust Racing in 2005.