Detroit: Darren Law race report

Law and Long Take Lizard's Porsche to 2nd in ALMS Belle Isle Enduro Porsche endurance race drivers Darren Law and Patrick Long teamed up to place the ...

Law and Long Take Lizard's Porsche to 2nd in ALMS Belle Isle Enduro

Porsche endurance race drivers Darren Law and Patrick Long teamed up to place the #44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche GT3 RSR 2nd in the GT2 class field in this past weekend's American Le Mans Series Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch endurance contest at the Belle Isle Park race circuit. Law's strong finish came a week after a 2nd place in the Porsche powered Brumos Riley in the Daytona Prototype class of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series event at Infineon Raceway. The two podium results have allowed him to continue to gain valuable points in an extremely close run in the annual Porsche Cup year-long worldwide competition.

From the first of three pre-race practice sessions at Belle Isle, it was clear that the Ferrari F430s of Risi Competizione and Peteresen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing would be the class of the field, as they have been through the 2007 season. Throughout most of the pre-qualifying sessions, the #44 car was amongst the fastest Porsches on the timesheets, and they finished the race as the highest placed Porsche in the GT2 field. Law and Long worked with the Flying Lizard crew to develop a good race set up underneath their sliver and red Porsche, and in qualifying Long placed the #44 fourth, just behind the Ferrari juggernaut.

The wall-lined confines of the immaculate 2.07-mile street circuit on Belle Isle Park promised for some exciting racing, and the start of the scheduled 2 hour 45 minute event proved expectations to be true, as cars jockeyed for position on the narrow circuit. Law was tapped to start the race and kept up a strong pace while avoiding the problems that ended the race for several other cars. In addition to driving a clean stint, Darren was also able to take advantage of the miscues of two of the Ferraris to eventually move his way to second.

While the #44 was enjoying a strong run, the team's #45 ran into problems, as contact with another Porsche sent it toward one of the retaining walls. Thankfully, Flying Lizard Motorsports driver Johannes van Overbeek was able to walk away from the car, and escaped injury.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances that befell the #45, Law was maintaining a strong pace in the team's lone remaining entry. Darren brought the #44 into pit lane well after the halfway point of the event, and turned the Flying Lizard Porsche over to factory pilot Patrick Long. Patrick continued with fast laps of his own, and was even able to briefly match pace with the eventual race winning Risi Ferrari of Jamie Melo and Mika Salo. The Ferrari ultimately pulled a gap despite Long's awesome charge in the Lizard's GT3 RSR, and Patrick brought the #44 to the checkered flag 2nd, matching that car's best finish of the year at Long Beach in April.

Darren Law Quote

"We had a good car all weekend. Qualifying was as good as could have been expected. Sure, the Ferrari's were 1-2-3 on the grid, but they've been really strong all season, and besides, we were the top qualified Porsche.

It was great to be running with Patrick again. He and I had a great run earlier in the year at Long Beach, and again we had another good finish for the #44 car. I was actually in the car for quite a while this race, and my stint was hectic. Several cars went off in front of me, and I was able to capitalize on a mistake with the 2nd and 3rd place Ferrari's early. From that point on, I was pushing to keep the car in the top three for most of my stint. When I finally turned it over to Patrick, we were in 2nd place. He did a great job, and at one point was able to pressure the lead Ferrari for a few laps. Those cars are so strong, it is hard to maintain their pace though, and in the end 2nd was a great result for us. It matches our best finish of the season for the #44 car.

I am looking forward to going back to Utah with the Brumos guys and Grand-Am in couple weeks. This will be a track where we have some good data for the Riley chassis, as it is one of the few that we ran the Riley on last year. Even though we have been racing at all of the tracks for several seasons, this year has been the first time for the Brumos team with the Riley chassis at almost every track. We have been consistently running up front, getting better every race and coming off that great 2nd place finish last week in Sonoma. We feel we have some good momentum coming into the final race. Buddy Rice will be joining us for that event. He has driven with us several times now, and all of us work well together, so I am hoping to finally get to the top spot on the podium in the final race."

Season Draws to a Close

As the 2007 season begins to wind down for Darren, the results of his three remaining races in the season will prove critical in his quest for the top spot in the 2007 Porsche Cup. Darren will have the chance to earn points in the final Grand American race of the year as well as the two remaining American Le Mans Series events. In a notable twist to the run for the 2007 Porsche Cup, Darren's current main rival for the prestigious honor is Johannes van Overbeek, the driver of the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports machine - the same team that Darren will be driving with in the last two events of the American Le Mans Series, but in the sister #44 machine.

Law's next event will be with the Brumos squad and teammate David Donohue at the Sunchaser 1,000 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah the weekend of September 12th. The expansive 4.5-mile natural terrain road course is one that Law enjoys, and with the addition of 2004 Indy 500 champion Buddy Rice to the Brumos driver roster for the extended format Grand American season finale, Darren is looking forward to the event.

Darren will then join the Flying Lizard team again for the last two races of the American Le Mans Series 2007 season in the team's #44 Porsche GT3 RSR. The ten-hour 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta will be held October 2-6, and the season ending Monterey Sports Car Championships will take place October 18-20 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

-credit: darrenlaw.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Mika Salo , Darren Law , David Donohue , Patrick Long , Buddy Rice , Johannes van Overbeek
Teams Risi Competizione , Flying Lizard Motorsports