tricky qualifying Orbit Racing will start Sunday's American Le Mans Series race in Sonoma, Calif., from 13th and 18th on the GT grid. Jay Policastro qualified the No. 42 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS he drives with his father, Joe ...
Orbit Racing will start Sunday's American Le Mans Series race in Sonoma, Calif., from 13th and 18th on the GT grid. Jay Policastro qualified the No. 42 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS he drives with his father, Joe Policastro. His time of one minute, 40.112 seconds on the 2.53-mile Infineon Raceway road course was good for 13th. Peter Baron was unable to qualify the No. 42 YES Network Porsche, so he and Leo Hindery will start last (18th) in class.
"We decided to go out early and try to get a couple of decent laps in," Jay Policastro said. "It's our first time here, so we set some goals, wanted to be right around a 40 [1:40 lap time]. That panned out pretty well for us - I don't know if we could have done much more without risking the car. This place is pretty tricky, so we're excited to have the car on the grid."
Leo Hindery spun on track during a practice session just before qualifying. While waiting to rejoin the field, he was hit by a prototype car. The resulting damage to the right-front suspension and bodywork prevented his co-driver, Peter Baron, from qualifying.
"I spun on my own - it's really slippery out there," Hindery said. "I thought the corner workers were flagging pretty well [to advise other drivers of the stopped car], but it was just one of those bad things. That was an accident just waiting to happen; these guys really have to watch the flags. Unfortunately, we couldn't make qualifying for Peter, but we'll be okay for the race."
Michelin has 2200 tires on hand this weekend, including new tires for Orbit Racing and its competitors in the GT class.
"This is a very tough track for the Porsches because they need a lot of grip," Michelin ALMS operations manager Jerry Rinaldo explained. "Some of the tires we brought for the GT class are all new casings and compounds, for better durability and traction. So far they're working well and, from all indications, they're also a bit quicker than last year."
Joe Policastro has been visiting Sonoma for 20 years, but has never raced at Infineon Raceway. He and son Jay are spending their days at the track this time, while their wives see another side of Sonoma. "They're having a good time basking in the sun while we're sweating in the sun," Joe Policastro noted. They're sipping wine and we're sipping water!"