Watkins Glen II: Orbit Racing race report

podium! Orbit Racing scored its third Rolex Sports Car Series GT podium of the season and its second-consecutive podium at Watkins Glen International on Friday evening. Joe Policastro, Jay Policastro and Mike Fitzgerald combined for the class ...

podium!

Orbit Racing scored its third Rolex Sports Car Series GT podium of the season and its second-consecutive podium at Watkins Glen International on Friday evening. Joe Policastro, Jay Policastro and Mike Fitzgerald combined for the class podium on the 3.4-mile road course in June, then returned to match that finish on the shorter 2.45-mile course on Friday, despite an ailing engine in the No. 44 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Jay Policastro started third on the GT grid, set by team points when the qualifying session was cancelled due to wet track conditions. He lost two positions at the start, but worked back up to third place after 20 minutes of the two-hour race. Heavy rain caused 10 cars to spin on the same lap, drawing a full-course caution at 47 minutes. Jay Policastro held the Classic Industries Porsche on track and pitted four minutes later. Fitzgerald then drove the second stint, stopped for dry tires at 1h42 and maintained third in class. Joe Policastro drove the last five minutes of the race, ensuring championship points for all three drivers.

Mike Fitzgerald

"I guess Watkins Glen is our lucky track. We got a great start because of Jay - he did a great job at the beginning of the race. Almost right after I got in, the engine started to sound a little bit funny. I don't know if we cracked a header or a piston or something. For an entire hour, I short-shifted and prayed, and somehow it made it to the end. I still can't believe it! It was great to get a podium - we deserve that after all the bad luck we've had this year."

Jay Policastro

"It was quite exciting at the end of my stint. It was pouring down rain, cars flying everywhere, so it took everything I had just to get it around an extra lap to get in, get rain tires on and do a driver change. The crew did an outstanding job, as usual - the car was fantastic to drive!"

Joe Policastro

"These guys [Fitzgerald and Jay Policastro] did a hell of a job; they made it easy for me. The crew did a hell of a job with the car. The motor was going in the last hour and Mike had his hands full, but he was able to nurse it through and I took over and we brought it in. It was exciting. We hope that Kevin is okay. It was pretty brutal when it turned to rain out there."

[Porsche driver Kevin Buckler was involved in a crash and transported to a local medical center for precautionary x-rays. He was reported awake and alert.]

-or/sp-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Jay Policastro