quick setup Orbit Racing had a fast start to the American Le Mans Series race weekend in Trois-RiviÃ¨res. The team recorded the fourth-fastest GT test time (1:06.173), while still working on gears and other elements to maximize car setup on the...
Orbit Racing had a fast start to the American Le Mans Series race weekend in Trois-Rivières. The team recorded the fourth-fastest GT test time (1:06.173), while still working on gears and other elements to maximize car setup on the hard 1.52-mile street circuit. Peter Baron and Marc Lieb split the test session in the No. 43 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
"We're trying to be cautious, not chasing a 'green' track," Baron explained. "We know a lot of rubber will build up through the weekend, so we're trying to anticipate where the track's going to be each day and not worry too much about a certain setup today."
Baron was impressed with the large crowd on hand for the Friday test session. "It's a great event," he enthused. "There are so many fans here already! It's so neat to see so many families here, compared to the United States where it's a lot of guys. We saw two kids' day camps with their teachers here, too - that's really great to see."
Spa to street
Marc Lieb returns to North America with an overall victory in the 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium last weekend. It was his first overall sports-car win and the first time an N-GT class car has won an FIA GT Championship race. Lieb, Stephane Ortelli and Romain Dumas drove the No. 50 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche through18 hours of rain to top the podium.
"It was an unbelievable weekend, to win with a lower-class car overall," Lieb said. "The car was handling well in the rain and everybody on the team did a fantastic job; nobody made any mistakes in the race. Under those conditions, it was amazing. It was big teamwork."
Lieb said the change from a permanent road course to this weekend's temporary street circuit is a big one. "In Spa it was easy - a smooth track, wide and long. Here it's bumpy and slow, and you have to do a lot of work. But it's fun!"
Michelin engineers have nine trailers at Trois-Rivières, packed with 2485 tires. The tires include a 'step-soft' compound designed for street races, as well as the compound that took Orbit Racing to a second-place GT finish at the 24 Heures du Mans last month.
Michelin ALMS operations manager Jerry Rinaldo noted, "The tires could go two stints, but I think everybody in the pits would be biting their fingernails. So the strategy will be how many times do you change? Do you come in the last 15 minutes for a two-tire change? A right-left tire change? A four-tire change? Or do you just cross your fingers? When the first set comes off the cars, I can guarantee we'll be cutting them to see exactly where they're at after so many laps. We'll have a better handle then."