Watkins Glen II: Orbit Racing Thursday report

rain grid Orbit Racing will start third on the GT grid for the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International on Friday evening. The grid was set by team championship standings, after the Thursday qualifying session was cancelled due...

rain grid

Orbit Racing will start third on the GT grid for the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International on Friday evening. The grid was set by team championship standings, after the Thursday qualifying session was cancelled due to wet track conditions. The team's three drivers - Joe Policastro, Jay Policastro and Mike Fitzgerald - said the No. 44 Classic Industries Porsche 911 GT3 RS was primed for qualifying, so they were disappointed they didn't have an opportunity to earn a higher start position.

"I think the decision to start on points versus qualifying personally was a bad one because we'll start third instead of first or second," Jay Policastro said. "It hurt us this time because we have a really quick car; I think we could have got up there. It's a little disappointing we couldn't qualify, but we should have a great race tomorrow."

fast laps

Joe Policastro continues to improve his lap times at every track this season, so he is happy with this week's format of three practice sessions on Thursday, in preparation for the Friday race on the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen road course. The Orbit trio scored a GT podium in their last race at Watkins Glen, on the longer 3.45-mile course in June.

"The amount of seat time that you get is always beneficial, even with the condensed format," he said. "The first session was good because we were able to get a feel for the short track versus the long track. To get comfortable, you have to find your groove out there, and once you get into that groove and can stay in it, you're able to improve your times. I try to find my groove first, then work on my times, and it worked today."

weather watch

With rain forecast for race day at Watkins Glen, the Orbit crew is ready for wet or dry racing. Crew chief Pascal Bussy explained the key changes are in the car setup and tires, with easy switches based on the drivers' input during the race.

"We have to get the right setup first," he noted. "If it's a big rain, we will maybe change the roll bar, make the car softer. We'll need wet tires, of course, and we'll make sure no water can get in the car. If it turns dry, we'll change the tires to dry and maybe change the roll bar. Sometimes it's worth it to take 15 or 20 seconds to adjust the bar."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Joseph Policastro Jr.