past peak Orbit Racing will start Sunday's American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway from sixth and 16th on the GT grid. Peter Baron, who drives the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS with Leo Hindery, qualified sixth in class,...
Orbit Racing will start Sunday's American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway from sixth and 16th on the GT grid. Peter Baron, who drives the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS with Leo Hindery, qualified sixth in class, with a time of one minute 28.188 seconds on the 2.238-mile road course. He was hindered by tires that were a few laps past their peak performance because they had been used in the previous session.
"We had a problem in the session prior to qualifying, so we had to use the tires that were marked for qualifying to sort out the car," Baron explained. "Unfortunately, it put some [heat] cycles in the tires before qualifying, which took a little bit away. We would probably have had it right around that third spot for qualifying. But the car is easy to drive, so it should be okay for the race."
Jay Policastro qualified 16th on the GT grid (1:29.832) in the No. 42 Classic Industries Porsche he shares with his father, Joe Policastro. The ALMS race will be the pair's first Laguna Seca start.
"Qualifying was okay," Jay Policastro said. "Unfortunately, we're in the back half of the pack. With the level of competition here, it doesn't really help that it's our first time at the track! I think we have a good car for the race, but we just couldn't get it done in qualifying."
Michelin offers Orbit Racing and other teams an ever-changing array of tires to match track and weather conditions at each race location. Michelin's ALMS operations manager, Jerry Rinaldo, explained why the manufacturer doesn't maintain a large supply of any particular tire compound or construction.
"We always have something different because there's always ongoing development, from what we learned last year at the track and also what we learned at the previous race," he noted. "The reason we don't have a lot of tires or a big inventory is because we don't build them for the whole year; we build them for each race. It's like the Budweiser 'born-on' date - the tires are always fresh."