Law and Brumos Porsche Survive 45th Rolex 24 at Daytona With Surprising Speed
Despite race contact that took the #58 Brumos Riley Porsche powered Daytona Prototype out of race winning contention early in the running of the 45th Rolex Grand American 24 at Daytona, the four man driver squad of Darren Law, David Donohue, Buddy Rice and Scott Sharp survived to the end of the twice around the clock enduro to take a hard fought 20th place at the checkered flag this past Sunday morning. The Brumos entry finished some 122 laps down to the eventual race winning Pruett, Montoya, Duran driven Target team Lexus Riley as a long pitstop was required to fix the damage from contact with a GT car. The Red Bull Brumos car was fast however, and indeed Law's lap of 1:44.057 was the fastest lap of the race.
The Brumos team showed signs of speed earlier in the month at the traditional Daytona Test Days event, and the #58 Porsche powered Daytona Prototype showed further competitive form as the teams took to the track for practice early Thursday morning. David Donohue was then able to qualify the Brumos 4th overall with a lap of 1:43.584 that put him only a tenth of a second off the pole winning Pontiac Riley of Alex Gurney.
The start of the 45th running of the Daytona 24 Hour endurance classic began just after 1 pm EST amidst clear skies and beautiful weather. Donohue was slated to start and immediately began turning competitive laps of the 3.56-mile road course, as he maintained a position in the top three for his entire stint.
Law jumped aboard the #58 machine on lap 66 as Donohue pitted for fuel and tires. Darren had a strong stint in the Red Bull car and worked his way past Indy Car driver Scott Dixon on lap 94 to take second place overall in the race. On lap 121, ten laps prior to a stop for fuel and tires, Law turned the fastest lap of the race. On lap 131 Law handed the Brumos Riley Porsche over to 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice.
For several laps the #58 Brumos led the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona and showed every sign that it would be a real contender for the win. However, on lap 254 at 9:30 pm the Red Bull car sustained damage in a racing incident while lapping a GT class car in the East Horseshoe. The Brumos squad decided to take the car behind the wall for repairs, and 45 minutes later the #58 returned to the field some 71 laps down.
The four man #58 Brumos team driver squad soldiered on throughout the night that saw heavy rain at times. Despite being down an insurmountable number of laps, Law, Donohue, Rice and Sharp continued to turn quick clean laps all the way to checkered flag on Sunday afternoon. A 20th place finish in class was scant reward for a team that showed such strong speed and promise at the start of the 45th running of this endurance classic.
Darren Law Quote
"I'm not happy about finishing 20th, and we certainly wish we could have brought home a better result, but I was very encouraged by the speed of our car this race, and I feel it gave notice of things to come for the rest of the season. The contact was one of those race incidents that can happen in these long events, and the whole team worked very hard to get us back on track. This car was probably the best car I've driven at Daytona, and I'm very happy that I was able to turn the fastest lap of the race. We'll see what happens in Mexico City."
Darren's next event with the Brumos squad will be in Mexico City for the 400k event at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez the weekend of March 1-3. Darren will then travel to Florida for the 55th annual running of the American Le Mans Series' Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with the Flying Lizard Motorsports team, the weekend of March 14-17.