Watkins Glen: Orbit Racing Friday report

smooth start Orbit Racing posted the fifth-fastest GT time during practice for Sunday's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International. Mike Fitzgerald lapped the 3.4-mile road course in one minute 57.691 seconds in the No. 44...

smooth start

Orbit Racing posted the fifth-fastest GT time during practice for Sunday's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International. Mike Fitzgerald lapped the 3.4-mile road course in one minute 57.691 seconds in the No. 44 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. He will share driving duty with Joe and Jay Policastro.

Heavy rain left the track quite "green", but Joe Policastro said that's an advantage.

"When we started this morning, it was a bit precarious because we had the fog and the rain. But as it went on this afternoon, it dried out," he said. "If the track is clean, you can start getting up to speed a lot faster and start making changes a lot faster to achieve results. It's tough to make changes or see results if the track is dirty or you have a lot of traffic out there. This track is really great because everyone has enough room. We have some good data, so we'll make some adjustments and we'll be ready for Sunday."

double vintage

Jay and Joe Policastro have enjoyed vintage race cars at Watkins Glen and vintage wines in the area, just four hours from their home in Latrobe, Pa. The region is a family favorite, with 16 members attending this weekend's race.

"We have made many trips to the Finger Lakes region for goose hunting and wine drinking," Jay Policastro noted. "The region is special from a family perspective. Whenever we have the opportunity to compete at Watkins Glen, we always take our family, including my sisters and their kids. It's a great laid-back area, so we enjoy the time away."

Porsche potential

Strategy will be the key to victory in the GT class at Watkins Glen, with advantages for both the Orbit Porsche and the class-leading BMW M3s. Mike Fitzgerald noted the track's classic layout requires both handling (BMW's strength) and aerodynamics (Porsche's power).

"It suits the Porsche but it's also a very good BMW track, unfortunately," he said. "We have a bit of an aerodynamic advantage because the esses are kind of a long straight and the Porsche cuts through the air a little bit better. But aside from that, I don't think we have an advantage over the BMW."

-or/sp-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jay Policastro