PHOENIX (April 9, 2002) -- Sports car racer Darren Law estimates he spends 20 weeks a year on the road traveling to races and test sessions, which often times takes him away from his wife and two young daughters. But as the next round of the Rolex...
PHOENIX (April 9, 2002) -- Sports car racer Darren Law estimates he spends 20 weeks a year on the road traveling to races and test sessions, which often times takes him away from his wife and two young daughters. But as the next round of the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series approaches, Law is one of several Phoenix-area drivers who are happy they will not be packing their suitcases this weekend. The two series will visit Phoenix International Raceway next week for the UnitedAuto 200 presented by azcentral.com event weekend.
"Its so nice to be racing in Phoenix. We don't have to live out of suitcases. I can see my family every night. I don't have to eat on the road. It makes life a lot easier," admits Law. "It's kind of nice to have it in your own backyard."
But as the 2001 GT driver champion and this season's lead driver of the #07 Momentum Motorcars BMW-powered Picchio in the SportsRacing Prototype II class, Law's time is in high demand heading into next week's UnitedAuto 200. "A typical race weekend is a little less stressful because we show up, we do our races and maybe do an autograph session. But this week I am booked solid starting more than a week out from the event. I have radio appearances, mall appearances and even more autograph sessions.
Law's schedule is not only filled leading up to the event, but also during the race weekend, as he is running in both the Rolex Series' UnitedAuto 200 and Grand-Am Cup's UnitedAuto Sport 250. "Every other day is packed with something, but it's all worth it to be home. I have little kids, and I miss them when I'm gone for a week," admits Law, father of seven-year-old Megan and five-year-old Hanna.
Law's good friend and on-track rival, Terry Borcheller agrees. "It's nice to be home and sleep in my own bed at night," the Phoenix resident remarked. The hometown race was at the perfect time last season for Borcheller, whose wife Tracy gave birth to their first son during the opening day of practice. This year, he is looking forward to sharing the race with his friends.
"After talking about what I do for a living to people here in Phoenix, its nice to have them come out and actually see me race," commented Borcheller, who is the current SRPII points leader with a four-race winning streak in Rand Racing's #8 Nissan-powered Lola. "For the third year, the track has been great working with my church to allow some of the kids to attend the race. I'm really excited about them being there. These are the same kids that I pick up in the inner city when I drive our church bus on Sundays."
Didier Theys will also enjoy the luxury of sleeping in his own bed during the UnitedAuto 200 weekend. After winning the first three races of the season, the Scottsdale resident will try to keep his perfect record in the #27 Doran Lista Racing Judd-powered Dallara in the Rolex Series premier class. But Theys does not believe in a hometown advantage.
"It's always good to have a race that is not too far from home, but I have raced at LeMans, Indy and all over the world, and a race is a race. It doesn't matter where you are racing - at home or far away - it's the same anyway," Theys admits.
Paladin Racing will benefit from the race at Phoenix International Raceway, as their headquarters are also based in Phoenix. Paladin team owner and driver Bill Beilhartz will race the team's #91 Oldsmobile Aurora in the American GT class during the UnitedAuto 200.
Several Grand-Am Cup drivers will also enjoy racing near home. Scottsdale's Steve Lisa and Steve Pfeffer will race in Friday night's UnitedAuto Touring 250. Lisa will run the #19 SL Motorsports Mazda Protégé in the Sport Touring II class, while Pfeffer races for his second Sport Touring I win of the season in the #72 Team Spartanburg BMW Z3 Coupe. John Shreiner, of Coolidge, Ariz., will run the #30 Shreiner Racing Mustang Cobra R in the Grand Sport II class during Saturday afternoon's UnitedAuto Sport 250.
Phoenix International Raceway will host the UnitedAuto 200 presented by azcentral.com, April 18-20. Tickets are available online at www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com or by calling 602-252-2227. Additional information about the Rolex Sports Car Series and the UnitedAuto 200 can be found online at www.grand-am.com.