no qualifying Orbit Racing will start Sunday's American Le Mans Series race from sixth and 10th on the GT grid, after the Saturday qualifying session on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course was cancelled. Officials cancelled qualifying when a...
Orbit Racing will start Sunday's American Le Mans Series race from sixth and 10th on the GT grid, after the Saturday qualifying session on the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course was cancelled. Officials cancelled qualifying when a brief rainstorm moved through the area prior to the session, so the grid was set on practice times. Leo Hindery and Peter Baron will start the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS from sixth and Joe and Jay Policastro will take the 10th spot in the No. 42 Classic Industries Porsche.
"Having qualifying scrubbed is an emotional letdown," Baron said. " We were building up to it, practicing and making adjustments on the car, not really worrying about the time. The whole point of practice is not to lay down the fastest lap, but to work on the car. Had we known they were going to revert to the fastest practice lap, we could have done a lot of different things with the car, using a fast fuel map and different tires. We had a whole bunch more time in the car ..."
Jay Policastro noted rain racing is more cerebral than physical: "Driving in the rain is a different game. You have to be more precise with the car, you have to be less physical. When we drive in the rain, the physical demands of the car are about 70 per cent, which makes a heck of difference. So the strategy changes - it's more a mental strategy."
Orbit Racing is using a stepped gurney at Road Atlanta, rather than the usual straight one. (The gurney is a thin metal strip that fits on the rear wing to reduce aerodynamic drag.)
"We're trying to reduce the drag on the car, to make it faster in a straight line and not lose any downforce," technical director Tim Munday explained. "The wing isn't equally efficient all the way across because the roof covers the central part of the wing, so you need a larger gurney in the middle to get the same effect. You can reduce the gurney on the outside of the car to reduce the drag and still maintain the downforce. It seems to work!"
Michelin staff took 2500 tires to Road Atlanta to ensure the right combination was available to its teams, but the extra tires weren't needed. "We brought two new carcasses and compounds in case the compounds and carcass that we thought were going to work, didn't," Jerry Rinaldo explained. "Yesterday, the temperature wasn't as hot as we thought it would be, so the standard tire did work. Today, because of the weather, we really didn't learn much, but with the forecast, we'll continue as planned and not use our new tires."