Haywood Set for Rolex 24 Career Finale as Brumos Seeks to Repeat Jacksonville, FL: Any race fan who witnessed last year's heart-stopping Rolex 24 Brumos win would be hard pressed to imagine a more memorable ending. While that closest-ever finish...
Haywood Set for Rolex 24 Career Finale as Brumos Seeks to Repeat
Jacksonville, FL: Any race fan who witnessed last year's heart-stopping Rolex 24 Brumos win would be hard pressed to imagine a more memorable ending. While that closest-ever finish will always be notable, the stage is set in 2010 for what could prove an even more emotional event for the Brumos team. For many, the name Hurley Haywood is synonymous with Daytona 24 Hour victories. Holding the record with five wins, Haywood has declared 2010 to be his final run for win number six. Defending champions, David Donohue and Darren Law, will join Haywood for their first time in the iconic Brumos #59 car, along with two other previous Rolex 24 winners - Butch Leitzinger and Raphael Matos, making it a must-see event.
Leitzinger, with three Rolex wins of his own, is honored to finally have the chance to partner with Haywood after many years of competing against him. "As a kid, the Brumos car was king of the hill in sports car racing it was the supreme car to drive," he recalled. "When you've driven this race as often as I have, you realize just how much can go wrong. Many times I've left here on that Sunday afternoon thinking I would have won if this or that didn't happen, but Hurley left here five times wearing the Rolex. He might be happy to hang up the helmet, but it's the end of an era for a lot of us who've been longtime fans so my goal is to help him win that 6th watch."
Raphael Matos considers this year's Rolex 24 with Brumos a great opportunity, saying, "Daytona has been very good to me, as I won this race one time in the GT class. Representing the defending champions is really exciting and I could not be with a better team to achieve my goal of earning an overall victory. I am honored I was chosen to drive with Brumos, especially in what is such a special year. I know there is a good chance to make history, not only for myself, but for Hurley and the Brumos team once again."
Darren Law has his own long history with Brumos, but this year's race is no less of a thrill for him. "I'm so proud to be part of the Brumos famous #59 team. Every driver on our Rolex team this year has won this race, so the level of experience is a definite plus. We came to testing with a successful setup from last year, and the car has required few adjustments. Our drivers work really well together with things like pit stops and driver changes, and getting those perfected are critical to this race. We're certainly all proud to be on Hurley's team he's just such a great asset to our program and we really hope to help him get that 6th win." Each 2010 Brumos driver is excited to be on Haywood's team, but David Donohue may be a bit more sentimental about that honor than anyone, saying, "This year, being in the #59 car is extra special to me not just to defend our win in Brumos colors, but the #59 has added meaning for me. Hurley has been my friend for almost 20 years and this is the first time I've driven in the same car with him. Between the Rolex win for the #58 car and the finale win for the #59 last year, all of our crew now have a win under their belts and know how to get the job done. We've enjoyed our year of being Rolex 24 champs, but that will end unless we repeat so that is what we fully intend to do."
As for Haywood, he acknowledges feeling added pressure, but remains practical, saying, "There is so much hype about this being my last race and there are a lot of emotions running through my mind, but racing has many ups and downs. The smallest thing can knock out the best efforts, so if the stars line up and the time is right, we're going to win-and if not, then we won't. I can still retire and say my career has been worthwhile and it is something I am proud of. Regardless of the outcome at Daytona, I won the race before this one and can go out with my head held high. But it would be terrific to end a 40 year career by getting that sixth win at Daytona, so that is what I'm going to try very, very hard to do".