Phoenix: Orbit Racing qualifying report

grid set Orbit Racing will start ninth on the GT grid for the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday. Joe Policastro qualified the No. 44 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS in one minute 5.927 seconds on the...

grid set

Orbit Racing will start ninth on the GT grid for the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday. Joe Policastro qualified the No. 44 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS in one minute 5.927 seconds on the 1.51-mile infield road course. He will start the race on Saturday, followed by his son, Jay Policastro, and Mike Fitzgerald.

"Mike gave me some pointers about how I could knock a couple of seconds off [the lap times] and they really worked," Joe Policastro said. "I ran into some traffic coming onto the track, but I had a couple of clear laps when I could get my foot into it. When we get out for the race, it's going to be tight initially, so we're going to have to be very careful at the start. It's going to require some real good strategy to play all our strong points."

transition run

Jay Policastro will drive the middle race stint, a transition period between daylight and night. He said adjusting to the light change won't be as challenging as dealing with the physical demands of the track.

"The transition period is not the difficult one; the difficult one is when the sun is going down," he explained. "When I get in, the track and the air will be a little cooler, so I'm thrilled to not be driving when it's daylight. But it's a very physical track, much like go-karting. It's going to take a lot of upper-body movement. That will be the biggest challenge of the race."

tech talk

Orbit owner Rodger Hawley appreciates the efforts of the Grand American Road Racing Association to achieve equality among manufacturers in the Rolex Series.

"It's a driver's series, which is pretty cool. Instead of battling with different tires and different engine specifications, it's a bunch of drivers out racing cars," he noted. "I think the Porsche has some inherent advantages, but the BMW has a couple of really quick drivers, so we have parity. The BMW drivers have to overcome what we have technically, and we have to overcome a little what [BMW driver] Bill Auberlen can do."

-or/sp-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jay Policastro