2003 24 Heures du Mans race 12h - 15 June second quarter Orbit Racing was second in the GT class after 12 hours of the 24 Heures du Mans. Peter Baron took the wheel of the No. 87 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS just after the six-hour mark. ...
2003 24 Heures du Mans
race 12h - 15 June
Orbit Racing was second in the GT class after 12 hours of the 24 Heures du Mans.
Peter Baron took the wheel of the No. 87 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS just after the six-hour mark. He moved up one position to sixth in class before handing off to Marc Lieb at 7h25. Lieb stopped for tires and fuel at 8h35, then had to return 30 minutes later for an unscheduled pitstop to repair a loose right-front fender. He took second in class at 10h15, and finished his double stint at 10h20.
Baron started his double night stint, took the class lead at 10h40, but relinquished it on a fuel stop an hour later.
"I had an up-and-down stint," Lieb reported. "Whe the tires were fresh, it was very good but when they went off, it was not easy to drive. Also, my cool suit wasn't working, and when it doesn't work it gets very hot. Normally, you just cruise around at night and keep the pace. But tonight I was almost at the limit."
Orbit Racing's technical director, Tim Munday, knows what it takes to go the distance , after working at about 40 24-hour races.
"Keep your eyes open and you'll be okay," he advised. "If you go into a deep sleep, you'll never recover. You have to get past 4 o'clock - once the sun comes up again, you're okay." Munday stays awake through activity. "I try to do as much as possible all the time," he said, but acknowledged the need to differentiate between a steady pace and exhausting effort.
Jim Malicki plots strategy for Orbit Racing. He noted drivers, temperatures and time of day all play a role in determining stints, but the most important element is the driver. "If he's capable of keeping the [lap] times, we'll double-stint," he said. "But we monitor everything closely, so we can tell when the driver is tired or the tires go away.
"I try to get the most out of our fuel consumption as possible. It's a balance of me wanting to be aggressive and Tim [Munday], who is conservative, so it's a good match. Our fuel consumption is fairly consistent, but we don't want to press it."