Darren Law will return to Daytona International Speedway this week to defend his biggest success of the 2009 season -- victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Law and his Brumos Racing co-drivers and crew celebrated the closest-ever finish in last ...
Darren Law will return to Daytona International Speedway this week to defend his biggest success of the 2009 season -- victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Law and his Brumos Racing co-drivers and crew celebrated the closest-ever finish in last year's endurance race, topping the field of 49 cars by just 0.167 seconds after 24 hours and 735 laps on the 3.56-mile infield road course in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Law, of Phoenix, and his full-season co-driver David Donohue (Malvern, Pa.), will share driving duty in this year's race with five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), three-time Rolex 24 winner Butch Leitzinger (Rebersburg, Pa.) and IndyCar driver and Rolex 24 class winner Raphael Matos (Miami). Their Brumos Racing Porsche-powered Daytona Prototype will carry the No. 59 made famous by Haywood in the 1970s.
All five drivers have earned Rolex watches for wins in the season-opening endurance classic, but Law says that doesn't make it easy to repeat.
"No way! It's a very hard race," he said. "There are three major endurance races worldwide -- Daytona, Le Mans and Sebring. Le Mans is tough because it's an eight-mile track and it's very fast. Sebring is tough because it's very bumpy and technical -- it's a rough circuit and it's very hard on the car. Daytona is not as technical, but out of all the long ones, it has the most night-time running, so it is gruelling for both drivers and crew. Then when the sun comes up at 7 am, we still have a ton of racing ahead of us."
Sunrise signals the start of an intense eight-hour charge to the finish, but it's Law's favourite time in the race car.
"When the sun comes up in the morning, it's a neat time to be in the car and that's also the point at which we really start racing," he explained. "We're racing all through the night and we've got to be really careful making sure we get our car to the next day in good condition, but once the sun pops up, that's when it's really time to push."
The Rolex 24 will be the first of 12 races in the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the start of Donohue and Law's seventh season driving together for Florida-based Brumos Racing. Law said the continuity and team chemistry are key factors in their performance.
"I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to run the complete season with the team again. This will be my seventh year with Brumos!" he marvelled.
"It makes things easy. We understand each other from a teammate standpoint. There's no guessing game on setup. David and I know what each other likes for setup and we're not competing against each other, we're working together for the win. It's a good relationship within the team. That's as big a part of racing as anything -- you have all these people and everyone has to get along to make the program work."
So what's ahead this week? Law is cautiously optimistic.
"The whole team's confidence is up. We know what it takes to win. We came out of the [Jan. 8 to 10] test days really happy with the car, with a similar setup to what we won the race with last year," he noted. "David and I and the Brumos team are looking forward to going back to defend our win."
20+ in 2010
Darren Law will compete in more than 20 sports-car races this year. The versatile Phoenix driver will race the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche-powered Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. He will also race in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class, driving the No. 44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.