Darren Law lives in the desert, but he knows how to drive in the rain. The Phoenix driver persisted through a wet and wild Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race on Sunday to score a podium finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.
"I get about two inches of rain per year total at home and I had two inches every hour here during the race," he noted.
The Saturday qualifying session was an indicator of weather to come, when rain washed out the session and the race grid was set by championship points. Law's co-driver, David Donohue of Malvern, Pa., started the No. 5 Action Express Corvette-powered Coyote Daytona Prototype from sixth on the 28-car grid, then quickly moved to fourth at the green flag. A spin dropped him back to ninth, but he recovered to seventh before handing off to Law after 42 minutes of the rain-shortened one-hour 53-minute race.
Law charged up to second before he and two competitors slid off-course just past the one-hour mark. He lost two positions, then regained one spot to third before series officials slowed the race with a caution flag at 1h16. The cars continued to circulate on the 2.3-mile infield road course for an additional 37 minutes before the race was stopped due to heavy rain and standing water on track.
"Of course, we're very happy to come away with a podium. We're happy for Action Express and we're happy for Chevrolet – we had two Chevys on the podium," Law said.
"It was a hard race just because the conditions were so treacherous. You couldn't put a wheel wrong, you had to be really careful. It was changing conditions the whole time. For a couple of laps, the puddles would start to diminish, then more rain would come in and they'd get bigger, so you didn't know what you had at any given time. It was a constant changing battle every lap.
"There was so much spray, you couldn't see more than two car lengths in front of you. I was trying to pop out to one side or the other, trying to get a clear view of what was going on. I couldn't see the cars in front of me, couldn't even see their tail lights."
Although Law would have preferred to run a full two-hour 45-minute race, he agreed with the call to end earlier: "I commend Grand-Am for cutting the race when they did because if they'd gone green, the entire field would have probably been off the track."