off track Orbit Racing will start the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mont-Tremblant from sixth on the GT grid, after an off-course excursion stopped the team's qualifying momentum. Mike Fitzgerald was third-fastest in class when he went...
Orbit Racing will start the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mont-Tremblant from sixth on the GT grid, after an off-course excursion stopped the team's qualifying momentum. Mike Fitzgerald was third-fastest in class when he went off-track in the No. 44 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS. He saved the car from a crash but flat-spotted the tires, so he was unable to finish the session. (Series rules don't allow tire changes during qualifying.) He dropped to sixth with his time of one minute 37.705 seconds on the 2.65-mile road course.
"I went a little too quick through the fast right-hander turn seven and got the car sideways," he explained. "I had to make a decision between hitting the gravel trap sideways and spinning the car, so I locked the brakes up and spun into the gravel trap. I flat-spotted all the tires and filled the car up with gravel so we couldn't continue. But the good news is that I think I have a pretty good handle on what we need to change on the car to make it quicker, so we'll be fine in the race."
Joe and Jay Policastro are racing at Mont-Tremblant for the first time. Joe Policastro said the first part of the track is the toughest.
"The most challenging part of the track is definitely turns one, two and three, since there are so many elevation changes and going off-camber," he said. "It's exciting to try to master it. It's just a matter of hitting the mark and getting some laps in. I have most of the other turns down, but it's our first trip here so we're trying to master the course, as well."
Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant is a classic road course, different from most U.S. tracks. Orbit Racing team owner Rodger Hawley noted the importance of shock absorbers to maximize performance.
"The Mont-Tremblant circuit is a very fast, smooth circuit," he said. "It requires a car that's stiffer than a lot of the tracks we drive in the southern part of North America. Overall, the course is what we thought it would be - fast, smooth, with a little bit of everything, so you can't sacrifice slow- or medium-speed corners for the high-speed ones. There are two straightaways where you have quite a lot of speed, so shocks are very important."