Sebring: Orbit Racing Wednesday practice report

speedy start Orbit Racing had a strong start to the 12 Hours of Sebring, topping the GT class on the first day of testing Monday and again during the second official practice on Wednesday. Marc Lieb lapped the 3.7-mile Sebring International ...

speedy start

Orbit Racing had a strong start to the 12 Hours of Sebring, topping the GT class on the first day of testing Monday and again during the second official practice on Wednesday. Marc Lieb lapped the 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway road course in two minutes 6.865 seconds - fastest GT time in the final Wednesday practice and second-quickest of the day. He is driving the No. 43 YES Network Porsche with Leo Hindery and Peter Baron.

Their teammates Mike Fitzgerald, Jay Policastro and Joe Policastro, racing the new No. 42 Classic Industries Porsche, were eighth in GT on Wednesday (2:10.240).

"We've been chasing some electrical gremlins, which have taken away from setup time, and we have a little understeer we've been working on," Baron said. "But I think we have the electrical gremlins under control, so now we'll be able to work more on setup. The crew has done a great job thrashing on the car, getting it all squared away."

"We're doing pretty good this weekend," Jay Policastro noted. "We have the brand-new '03 Porsche here and it feels really good - it came out of the box great. At this point, we're working on some fine-tuning on the front end and some tuning between the seat and the steering wheel! We're getting our lap times down to where we think we need to be and we're continuing to familiarize ourselves with different points on the track."

background check

Three of Orbit Racing's drivers started their sports careers outside motorsport. Peter Baron was heading for the life of a tennis pro, Mike Fitzgerald dreamed of following his father's career as a professional baseball player and Marc Lieb was a promising soccer goalkeeper. His father, uncle and grandfather were successful goalkeepers, making it a family tradition.

tech talk

Porsche is the only manufacturer that produces race cars on its regular production line. Orbit Racing then fine-tunes the cars to further improve track results.

"We buy the cars ready to race from Porsche, but they're built to a certain level and budget," technical director Tim Munday explained. "We completely dismantle them and basically spend a lot of money making them even lighter and faster. We use a lot of exotic materials like carbon fiber and we put holes in a lot of things! If you want to compete at the top end, you need to put a lot of time and effort into it."

-or/sp-

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