(May 22, 2010) — Orbit scored its second top-five finish after a roller-coaster American Le Mans Series race in Monterey, Calif., on Saturday. The trio of Luke Hines (London, England), John McMullen (Spring Lake, N.J.) and Bryce Miller (Summit, N.J.) survived a chilly six-hour race on the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course to finish fifth in the GTC class. Their No. 48 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car was supported by Marquis Jet, Grand Prix Racewear, IPC Systems, TOTAL Petroleum, Bergen County Auto Group and Macha Racing.
Miller started the race from fifth on the GTC grid and immediately gained a position before stopping for fuel during the first caution period. The stop dropped him back to seventh and he lost another position and a lap serving a penalty for a missed communication as he exited pit lane. But he steadily worked back up to third and regained the lap before handing off to McMullen.
McMullen returned to the track fourth in class and gained two positions to second place during his one-hour stint. Hines then took the wheel, racing from fifth after the pit stop to second before handing the car back to McMullen. He maintained fifth in class throughout his stint.
Miller drove the final double stint, hoping for a timely caution period to refuel. But although the race was punctuated by 10 cautions, none occurred during Orbit’s final fuel window, so Miller had to pit under green-flag conditions. He finished fifth.
Luke Hines: “We were looking pretty competitive. I think we just got unlucky with the yellow flags and the safety car. I felt that if we had some luck, we would have quite easily come in the top three. But I enjoyed the track – it’s an experience for me to do Laguna. It’s just a shame that we had a bit of bad luck with the safety car.”
John McMullen: “It all came together. The crew did a great job with the changes they made last night and got rid of the push in the car. I just felt a lot more comfortable in it and settled in. It was a lot of fun. The team did a great job and Bryce did a helluva job at the end. It was a good time, everyone was real respectful out there for the most part. I’m happy for the guys who won and I’m sure we’ll be there soon.”
Bryce Miller: “We had such a good car and such an improvement from where we started on the weekend. We missed some time in the practice, but we hit the setup right for the race. The team did a really good job to keep the tire pressures underneath us, to keep the traction and the grip. We had a great race at the end and I had a lot of fun. I’m really proud of the team, and all the drivers did a great job.”
time driver action
17m Miller pit – fuel
26m Miller penalty – missed red flag in pit lane
1h24 change pit – McMullen in, four tires, fuel
2h24 change pit – Hines in, four tires, fuel
3h31 change pit – McMullen in, four tires, fuel
4h18 change pit – Miller in, four tires, fuel
5h30 Miller pit – fuel
Bryce Miller and Luke Hines compete with the support of four international sponsors. Marquis Jet is the recognized leader in private jet cards because it’s the only program that offers exclusive access to NetJets – the gold standard in private aviation – 25 hours at a time. Grand Prix Racewear is a respected supplier of motorsport protective clothing and driver accessories, based at Silverstone Circuit in England. The company offers worldwide delivery of 15,000 product lines. IPC Information Systems is a leading provider of mission-critical communications solutions to financial services firms. TOTAL Lubricants is the world’s fourth-largest publicly traded integrated international oil and gas company.
John McMullen is supported by Bergen County Auto Group, auto wholesalers and purveyors of fine classic and muscle cars, and by Macha Racing precision parts and products.
– www.orbitracing.com, www.brycemiller.net, www.lukehinesracing.com –