Top Porsche teams test at Road Atlanta before heading to Le Mans. BRASELTON, Ga. (April 9, 2003) -- Two of the top Porsche teams in the American Le Mans Series conducted test sessions at Road Atlanta over the past week, getting a jump start on...
Top Porsche teams test at Road Atlanta before heading to Le Mans.
BRASELTON, Ga. (April 9, 2003) -- Two of the top Porsche teams in the American Le Mans Series conducted test sessions at Road Atlanta over the past week, getting a jump start on preparations for the next series event.
Orbit Racing and The Racers Group tested on separate days at the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit, preparing their cars and drivers for the June 27-29 Atlanta Grand Prix, the next race for the American Le Mans Series. Since both teams are also competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, and will be out of the country for part of May and June, the sessions also marked their only opportunity to get on the track before the June event at Road Atlanta.
The Orbit team had two Porsche 911 GT3 RS machines at Road Atlanta for the test, the same cars that they used in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring last month. Driving for the team in the test were the father-son duo of Joe and Jay Policastro, as well as Leo Hindery. The three, joined by Peter Baron, are the regular drivers for the two-car team in the ALMS in 2003.
"For us, it was very productive," said Rodger Hawley, Orbit team owner. "Joe and Jay are new with us this year, so we're able to get to know them better and give them a lot of individual attention that we can't during a normal race weekend. They can also run a lot of laps without different competitors on the track.
"It also gave us a chance to work with Leo," he said. Orbit Racing, which joined the ALMS in 2002, is still seeking its first win.
The Policastros, though experienced in Vintage and Historic racing, had only six ALMS starts between them entering the 2003 season. Joe had only run two events, both at Road Atlanta. "This test gives them the chance to sharpen their skills, then sort things out and go back and apply what they've learned," said Hawley.
The Racers Group team, which will field three cars in all ALMS events this season, had three cars at its Road Atlanta test session. Kevin Buckler, owner and lead driver for The Racers Group, recently announced that 1999 American Le Mans Series GT class champion Cort Wagner would be his co-driver for the rest of 2003. Buckler won two ALMS races in 2002 with two different co-drivers and he was also part of the GT class-winning team in last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Four classes of American Le Mans Series sports cars will compete in the Atlanta Grand Prix, a timed event of two hours and 45 minutes that will get underway at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 29. The Porsche teams will compete in the GT class.
Ticket information for the Atlanta Grand Prix is available online at www.roadatlanta.com or by calling 1-800-849-7223. The race will be televised by CBS Sports in North America and Eurosport in Europe, and will be broadcast live by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web on the Internet at www.americanlemans.com.