Orbit Racing first qualifying report

Marc Lieb qualified the No. 87 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS third on the provisional GT grid during the first qualifying for this weekend's 24 Heures du Mans. A rookie at Le Mans, the German driver lapped the 13.65-km circuit in four minutes ...

Marc Lieb qualified the No. 87 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RS third on the provisional GT grid during the first qualifying for this weekend's 24 Heures du Mans. A rookie at Le Mans, the German driver lapped the 13.65-km circuit in four minutes 10.292 seconds. Americans Leo Hindery and Peter Baron will share driving duties with Lieb in the 24-hour endurance race. Final qualifying is set for Thursday evening.

"I had a big problem with my qualifying set - I couldn't get the tires warmed up correctly, so I locked up the brakes in the first chicane," Lieb said. "I lost a lot of time, so I'm really disappointed with the time I did. But the car is fantastic, the crew did a fantastic job, so it's just to me to get it [the class pole position] tomorrow."

continental double

Leo Hindery takes advantage of time zones and electronics to manage his duties as CEO of the YES Network in New York and also prepare for the 24 Heures du Mans in France. He receives a 40-page fax each day, detailing YES business that needs attention. He can reply by e-mail and fax early in the day, then turn to racing, and return to business by mobile phone at day's end in France.

"It's better here than racing on the east coast in the U.S., where the business day and race day match exactly. That's extremely difficult," he said. "But there comes a point at every race where you have to separate the two. About an hour before we go on track, I've learned to shut the phone off, shut it all off, and focus on racing."

travel take

A peek at Orbit Racing's luggage this week showed some interesting contents. Team owner Rodger Hawley, technical director Tim Munday and crew chief Matt Bishop carried a box of car parts and a new side window for the race car from Florida to France. When their train was diverted to Angers, the three crammed into a tiny taxi for a fast one-hour trip to Le Mans. "The driver didn't lift once," Hawley reported. Crew and luggage were cramped, but the window and parts arrived intact.

The team's caterer, Marion Champlain, had more than clothes in her bags, too. She carried a selection of familiar medications to remedy aches and pains, ice-cube trays to support the team's preference for chilled beverages and supplies of tuna and granola to satisfy tastes for home.

fit to race

Peter Baron started a new fitness program after the May 18 Le Mans test. He trains for two hours each morning and evening to simulate double racing stints. He added more protein to his diet and eliminated simple carbohydrates and "the fun stuff". He has dropped eight kilograms of body weight and added power and endurance to combat the rigors of racing at Le Mans.

-or/sp-

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Leo Hindery , Peter Baron , Marc Lieb