Daytona 24: Darren Law race report

Law, Donohue and Maassen Bring Brumos Porsche Fabcar Home 4th for 44th Running of Rolex 24 at Daytona January 29, 2006 -- After holding the lead of the 44th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona for some 51laps, Grand American Daytona Prototype ...

Law, Donohue and Maassen Bring Brumos Porsche Fabcar Home 4th for 44th Running of Rolex 24 at Daytona

January 29, 2006 -- After holding the lead of the 44th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona for some 51laps, Grand American Daytona Prototype regulars Darren Law and the Brumos Porsche Fabcar team settled for a hard fought 4th place finish at the checkered flag, which fell at 12:10 pm today. Phoenix based Law and teammates David Donohue and Sascha Maassen showed the renewed competitiveness of the Porsche Fabcar platform, and despite narrowly missing a podium finish, which they held for most for most of the event, all three drivers were encouraged by the car's performance.

Qualifying

Despite qualifying in 16th position with a lap of 1:45.197 around the famed 3.56 mile Daytona International Speedway roadcourse circuit, the #58 Red Bull liveried Brumos Porsche entry was forced to start 29th out of thirty Daytona Prototype entries due to a technical infraction. Based on the fact that the twice around the clock event is more a test of endurance as opposed to outright velocity, and since the Brumos racecar had shown promise in practice sessions and in the Daytona Test Days held a month previously, the team was not unduly concerned with the starting position.

Porsche Power Leads at Daytona

The green flag fell at 12:10 pm on January 28th and the 66-car field made it cleanly through the first several laps of the event. The #58 Brumos car immediately set to the task of working toward the front of the field, and by lap 115 European racing champion Sascha Maassen had assumed the lead of the race. Maassen pitted on lap 117, and Law took over for the first of his four driving stints in this grueling 24-hour event.

Law reassumed the lead on lap 152 and pitted shortly thereafter, but stayed in the car for a double stint. By lap 166 Law had again worked his way forward to lead one of the most famous of all endurance races in motorsports. By lap 182, with some six hours of the race completed, Law had built his lead to 50 seconds over the rest of the field and then pitted on lap 188, handing the car over to Maassen.

Maassen was also able to lead briefly before being forced to pit on lap 232 seven and a half hours after the green flag. A lengthy pitstop to address cooling issues dropped the spectacular blue and silver Red Bull entry down three laps, and the process of making up time to the leaders began.

Law ran an uneventful but competitive second stint from laps 308 to 377 and held the Porsche in the top three. Darren's third stint started at 5:12 am Sunday morning and lasted until just after 7:23 am, carrying Law through the Daytona sunrise.

Darren's fourth and final stint of the event began on lap 679 with twenty-two hours of the noon to noon event completed. Law, who was holding down a podium finishing third place position was unceremoniously punted by the eventual race winning #02 Lexus Riley of Scott Dixon, and the subsequent light contact with the tire wall in turn six led to a flat left rear tire. The #02 entry was assessed a "drive through" penalty, but it scarcely affected either the race winner's position or the fact that Law was forced to pit for a new left rear tire. During the stop, the #58 Porsche was passed by the #23 Alex Job Racing Porsche Crawford of Lucas Luhr for the final podium position.

Law exited the pits on lap 731 and took the checkered flag in fourth position after a hard fought race that proved the Porsche Fabcar combination to be a force to be reckoned with. Despite missing the podium, the Brumos crew took consolation in the fact that only one of the top three finishing teams will continue for the entire season. The Red Bull Brumos Porsche crew therefore finds itself in second place heading to Mexico City in the Daytona Prototype points race.

Darren Law Driver Quote

That was a really tough race. We actually had some pretty good reliability compared to a couple of the other teams, and I think a few cars ran into trouble because it was such a fast pace for the whole race. It felt great to be able to lead, and to be able to do it pretty comfortably. We ended up running into a couple of cooling issues that forced a long pitstop, and it was tough to recover from that. Then there was that hit from the #02 car with only ten laps to go or something like that. It would have been great to finish on the podium -- this whole team really deserved it. We'll be back at them next race -- this car is good.

Statistics

The 44th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona resulted in some impressive statistics. The total race distance of 734 laps or just over 2,600 miles was a record for the relatively new Daytona Prototype class. In addition, it was the fourth different engine and chassis manufacturer combination to win the race in the Daytona Prototype era.

Law notched up a few statistics of his own as he drove four separate stints for a total of 8 hour and 34 minutes in the car, while covering 262 laps and some 932 miles.

-jms-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Dixon , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Darren Law , David Donohue , Alex Job
Teams Alex Job Racing