Phoenix: Orbit Racing race report

desert ordeal Orbit Racing still leads the Rolex Sports Car Series GT driver and team championships, despite a tough race at Phoenix International Raceway. Joe Policastro started the No. 44 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS ninth on the GT...

desert ordeal

Orbit Racing still leads the Rolex Sports Car Series GT driver and team championships, despite a tough race at Phoenix International Raceway. Joe Policastro started the No. 44 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS ninth on the GT grid. He was hit from behind by a prototype car just 12 minutes into the two-hour 45-minute race, forcing an early pitstop. Jay Policastro started his stint at 18m, but encountered trouble when another car dropped oil and spun directly in front of him, resulting in contact that broke the Orbit car's left-front suspension. The crew replaced it in 24 minutes and he returned to the back of the field at 1h, eighth in class. He moved up one position and was poised to regain a lap with a 'wave-by' the race leader during a caution period at 1h45. Expecting a restart, he pitted just as the caution was extended and the delayed wave-by implemented, losing the opportunity. Mike Fitzgerald started the final stint at 1h52 and steadily gained track position to hold seventh in class and maintain first place in the Rolex Series GT driver standings.

Mike Fitzgerald

"We had a tough day today. We had some bad luck with yellows and bad luck with incidents that Joe and Jay couldn't do anything about. But the Orbit guys, as usual, hung in there and got the car back on track quickly. We had a chance at the end of the race to get a decent finish, but the officials called for one lap to go, then reversed their decision after I got in the car and did a wave-by. So we lost the wave-by, and that would have given us fifth place instead of seventh. But we still have the points lead going into the next race."

Jay Policastro

"We started out pretty good and hung in there through a ton of yellows. About 15 laps into my stint I came into NASCAR turn 3 and somebody had laid oil down pretty bad and the 57 car just lost it. It looked like his car was going to go down to the apron, but he came right back up. I was up against the wall to try to miss him, but he hit my left front and broke the upright. The guys did an outstanding job of changing it. After that, it was really good. Given the circumstances, for our first time here, it was a good outing. If we could have erased the 25 laps we lost fixing the suspension, we would have had a really good finish here."

Joe Policastro

"We had a really strong car and Mike and Jay did a heck of a job. I got hit right at the beginning - a Daytona Prototype tried to get underneath me, hit the tire barrier and threw the tires into me, spun me out and we lost two laps. But the crew did an outstanding job! After Jay got hit, they put a whole new suspension on the left side and we turned some of the fastest times after that."

-or/sp-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jay Policastro