close ... Orbit Racing will start Saturday's American Le Mans Series race in Miami from fourth and 15th on the GT grid. Marc Lieb qualified fourth in the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS, covering the 1.22-mile temporary street circuit in...
Orbit Racing will start Saturday's American Le Mans Series race in Miami from fourth and 15th on the GT grid. Marc Lieb qualified fourth in the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS, covering the 1.22-mile temporary street circuit in 53.594 seconds. He was pleased with the car's performance, noting he was slowed by contact with another car near the end of the qualifying session. He will alternate driving stints with Peter Baron.
"Qualifying was okay," Lieb said. "The car was pretty good, just a bit of a problem with understeering. I really can't believe what was going on there [being hit by another GT car]. It was a real pure fight for positions in the race, but trying to block people and hitting, that's not racing. In my opinion, that's unacceptable. I'm very disappointed. We lost a bit of time for that - I'm sure P3 [position three] was possible, even a bit closer, P2."
Jay Policastro qualified the No. 42 Classic Industries Porsche he drives with Joe Policastro. His time of 56.790 was good for 15th on the GT grid. This is the first street race for the pair.
"I'm reasonably pleased with qualifying," Jay Policastro said. "Our position isn't that good, but I'm pretty happy with the lap time for our first street race. I didn't bother burning the tires up in qualifying, I just ran four or five laps and had a nice clean lap. The car is set up pretty good. It's just a matter of staying out of trouble for three hours tomorrow, which is really going to be quite a feat. [The track] is even a little tighter than I thought it would be, so we'll have our hands full."
Marc Lieb is leading the international Porsche Cup driver championship, with three races remaining in his season - the Miami ALMS race and FIA GT Championship races in Estoril, Portugal, on Oct. 5 and Monza, Italy, on Oct. 19.
"It's a great thing," he said. "So many people have won the Porsche Cup before, especially Bob Wollek a few times. It's a great honor for me to lead the Porsche Cup and I'll try to keep that position, for sure, 'til the end of the year. Now the thing is to finish the last few races I'm doing with Porsche. I'm really looking forward to them!"
Michelin engineers have opted for a softer tire compound in Miami. Jerry Rinaldo, Michelin ALMS operations manager, explained: "What we call soft doesn't mean that they are going to wear out quicker, but they start to work under hotter conditions. If we used them on a cold day, they'd probably be as hard as a rock. With this humidity and the temperature, they will be quicker and will give more grip."