Orbit Racing Road Atlanta test

Orbit Racing enjoyed a successful two-day test May 27 and 28 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. The test was hosted by the American Le Mans Series, giving teams an opportunity to practice for a June 29 race at the track. Peter Baron of Deerfield...

Orbit Racing enjoyed a successful two-day test May 27 and 28 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. The test was hosted by the American Le Mans Series, giving teams an opportunity to practice for a June 29 race at the track.

Peter Baron of Deerfield Beach, Fla., posted the fastest GT lap of the test, covering the 2.54-mile road course in one minute 25.669 seconds. The time was faster than his qualifying time for the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta last year. His co-driver, Leo Hindery of New York, also improved his lap times over 2002, despite heavier equipment and a smaller restrictor on the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

"We were able to consistently outpace our qualifying times from the Petit last year," Baron said. "We were running about 70 pounds overweight because all our lightweight wheels and engines are in France [ready for the 24 Heures du Mans] and we were using a smaller restrictor than last year."

He noted the two-hour 45-minute June race will require a different strategy and car setup than the 10-hour Petit Le Mans.

"For the Petit you have to be a little more cautious on brake wear and tire wear and how hard you can drive the car," he said. "In a sprint race, you can be a bit rougher on it so the car has to be more forgiving. The shorter distance puts less emphasis on reliability so you can drive more aggressively."

Orbit teammates Jay Policastro and Joe Policastro of Latrobe, Pa., improved on the lap times they set in a private test at Road Atlanta in April. Jay Policastro was quickest in the No. 42 Classic Industries Porsche this week (1:27.691).

"It was another chance for us to get more laps behind the wheel of the car. This is much better than the normal practice session would be because it's not as crowded. You have a chance to get up to speed and get going," he said. "We worked on car dynamics a little bit and made a few adjustments, but other than that we were just refamiliarizing ourselves with the track and working on more driver skills. And we made some progress - we picked up a few seconds over the last time we were here."

Policastro said the team also used the test to max the value of its Michelin tires: "It was a real good chance to evaluate the tires. One thing we were able to do was really run the tires to the end and understand from a race perspective where we're going be on pit-stop strategy."

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Series ALMS
Drivers Leo Hindery , Peter Baron , Jay Policastro