Monaco & Miami Orbit Racing will be close to home for the next American Le Mans Series race. The team has logged thousands of miles across North America - and across the Atlantic - this season, but it will travel just 80 miles from its home...
Monaco & Miami
Orbit Racing will be close to home for the next American Le Mans Series race. The team has logged thousands of miles across North America - and across the Atlantic - this season, but it will travel just 80 miles from its home base in Jupiter, Fla., to Miami for the Sept. 27 race. Joe and Jay Policastro of Latrobe, Pa., will drive the No. 42 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Peter Baron of Deerfield Beach, Fla., will team with Marc Lieb of Niefern, Germany, in the No. 43 YES Network Porsche.
After the logistical nightmare of transporting the team, race car and 5000 pounds of equipment to Europe for the prestigious 24 Heures du Mans (where Orbit Racing savored a second-place GT finish), team owner Rodger Hawley acknowledged preparation for a home race is easier. But he said the big attraction is the city of Miami.
"Miami could become the biggest race on our calendar," he said. "People associate it with [Formula One race venue] Monaco and I think that association is a lot closer than people realize. Miami has a unique mentality - it's a South American, living, enjoying community. It's a community that embraces events; they've got basketball, football, hockey and every other event. It's a community that likes to go out and do things."
The new configuration of the 1.22-mile Miami street circuit incorporates a longer front straight - great for speed, tough on brakes. To combat the rigors of street racing, the Orbit Racing Porsches will sport new brake rotors similar to those used on the bigger prototype race cars.
Orbit technical director Tim Munday explained, "The straight is longer, that's why it's going to be even harder on brakes than it was last year. We fit extra brake cooling ducts into the car and we're running new prototype-style front rotors. They're better for cooling and long life of the part itself."
Joe and Jay Policastro will drive the Miami street circuit for the first time this week, but they'll take advantage of the team's previous experience.
"We are going to get there early so we can walk the track a few times," Joe Policastro said. "The compressed schedule does not give us a lot of time to find the 'sweet spots' of the track; we need to use every second of track time to get familiar with the course. I am sure Rodger and the crew will have the car set up to the max based on last year's experience. We will be doing a lot of note-comparing with our other team drivers."