Watkins Glen: Darren Law race report

Despite Strong Run Law and Donohue Settle for 9th at Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen It was a weekend of ups and downs for Brumos Porsche Riley teammates Darren Law of Phoenix, Arizona and David Donohue of Malvern, Pennsylvania as the duo led...

Despite Strong Run Law and Donohue Settle for 9th at Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen

It was a weekend of ups and downs for Brumos Porsche Riley teammates Darren Law of Phoenix, Arizona and David Donohue of Malvern, Pennsylvania as the duo led this past weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen for several laps, but ultimately finished a disappointing ninth in the extended time endurance event. The Sahlen's Six Hour marked the sixth event in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal 2007 schedule, and also was the first race since the Homestead Miami race in May, that the Daytona Prototype class and the GT cars were reunited on the same track at the same time; a reunion that would have consequences for the Red Bull Brumos squad. A total of forty-two cars qualified for the Rolex event and the race action was heated from the start.

Practice

The first two official practice sessions held on Friday, showed the #58 Brumos Porsche to be competitive as it finished the first one hour run securely in seventh with a lap of 1:44.721 around the 3.4 mile "long course" version of Watkins Glen International Raceway. The second session was a Daytona Prototype-only thirty- minute run and showed a relative improvement for the #58 to the rest of the field as they climbed to sixth on the time sheets with a lap of 1:45.412.

Qualifying

The hectic Friday schedule called for qualifying to be held in the late afternoon, and Law was tapped to place the Red Bull Brumos in the field. Although some small changes were made following final practice in preparation for qualifying, Law immediately sensed that the balance of the car was off with the #58 exhibiting oversteer from the start of the qualifying run. Despite the obvious difficulties, Law was able to put together a 1:45.843 lap that netted him twelfth on the grid of twenty Daytona Prototype machines. Darren was disappointed with the run considering where they had been able to place the car in practice, but felt as though the car would be strong for the race.

Sure enough, Law's final practice run on Saturday before the race saw him vaulted to the top of the timing sheets with a 1:44.847, and clearly the set up changes that had taken place following qualifying were for the better. Darren's guess that the Red Bull machine would race well appeared to be a good one.

Race

Darren had a clean but aggressive start and was able to pick off several cars before a full course caution was thrown mid way through the first lap. After the green was thrown on the restart, Law continued to move forward and had worked his way to third by lap twenty-three. When race leader Alex Gurney in the #99 Gainsco/Bob Stalling Pontiac Riley was forced to pit on lap thirty-six due to an overheated engine, Darren took the Brumos Porsche to second place, just over three seconds behind the #10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley of Max Angelleli. Law held his second place position, a gain of ten positions from qualifying, until lap forty- nine when he pitted under a full course caution for fuel, tires and a driver change to Donohue.

Donohue was able to maintain a position in the top five for his entire stint, and the Red Bull Brumos Porsche appeared to be set for another solid finish in what has been a string of strong performances for the Brumos team over the last several races. By lap seventy-three David took over the lead of the race and maintained that position until he was passed by Marc Goosens in the #91 Matthew Motorsports Pontiac Riley. Donohue kept close to the #91 however and reassumed the lead briefly before pitting on lap eighty. After his stop for fuel and tires, Donohue resumed his double stint and again worked his way to the front of the field, taking second place by lap ninety-seven. Donohue kept his second place standing until lap 125 when the Brumos Porsche Riley and a GT class car made contact. Although Donohue was able to continue, the contact flattened the left rear tire and bent the left front toe link causing a toe out condition to the suspension. Despite Donohue's strong drive, he was forced to pit in eleventh and at that time turned the car over to Law for his final stint.

Law headed out onto the track but returned on lap 131 to assess the handling of the car. The team assessed the problem but determined there was little to be done at the time and sent Law back out. The toe out caused the car to understeer through much of the circuit, especially in the higher speed and longer corners and Law maintained a defensive mode for his stint. Despite Law and Donohue's very strong run, they took the checkered flag ninth. The finish was an improvement over their twelfth position start to be sure, but hardly just reward for such a solid run on both drivers' part.

Quote

Darren Law

"I'm really proud of the team and the fact that the car really came together for the race. It is unfortunate that we had contact with a GT car, especially since we were having a strong run. We've had some rough luck this season and I think people have seen that, but the Brumos Porsche has been a strong car at many of the races this year and I think people have seen that as well. Hopefully the cards will fall our way and we can win one of these this year."

Up Next and Info

Darren's next race with the Brumos squad will be the EMCO Gears Classic to be held the weekend of June 21-24 at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

-credit: jms/dl

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Darren Law , David Donohue