Double Header Weekend Sees Law Finish 5th in Rolex Competition and 17th in Koni Challenge July 6, 2008 - It was another busy race weekend for endurance racer Darren Law of Phoenix Arizona as he took a 5th place finish in the Grand-Am...
Double Header Weekend Sees Law Finish 5th in Rolex Competition and 17th in Koni Challenge
July 6, 2008 - It was another busy race weekend for endurance racer Darren Law of Phoenix Arizona as he took a 5th place finish in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No 16 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona and then raced to a 17th place in the Koni Challenge event at Watkins Glen International. The action filled weekend marked the mid point of the 2008 season for Law, who has been racing Porsche powered cars in three separate series this year.
Law's weekend started with the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, for a condensed schedule event during which practice qualifying and race would all take place in one day. The event had particular relevance for Law as he and teammate David Donohue of Malvern, Pennsylvania were hoping to make as good a showing as possible in their Brumos Porsche riley Daytona Prototype in front of the team's home crowd. Many of the Brumos Porsche customers and clients were in attendance and were hoping to see a strong run by both the 58 and 59.
A strong run is exactly what the Brumos fans got, as both cars finished in the top 5, and Law's car in particular was a contender for much of the race. After only two practice sessions David Donohue placed the #58 Brumos Porsche 5th on the grid in qualifying amidst a total of 20 Daytona Prototype machines. The #58 has not qualified outside the top 5 yet in 2008, again showing that the Brumos squad is continuing to improve the already potent Riley Porsche package.
The 8 pm start to the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona was held under quickly darkening evening skies and beautiful conditions. Donohue and the top 4 cars ahead quickly pulled away from the rest of the field. Along with two of the front running cars, the Brumos team decided to make a strategic stop for fuel on lap seven, satisfying the Grand-Am Rolex competition guidelines that cars must pit at least once during the first 45 minutes of the scheduled 2 hour 45 minute event.
As the pit cycles played out, Donohue worked his way up to third and ended his stint on lap 30, handing the car off to Law. Fuel was added and a fresh set of Pirelli rubber was mounted, but the stop would end up being extended as an electrical fault causing the headlights to go out had to be addressed. With quick thinking a set of wires was spliced and Law and the #58 were sent back into action, but several places were lost during the green flag stop.
Law drove an aggressive stint, and made up all of the lost ground. Toward the end of the race however, Law began to lose front brake bias, and the car became more and more difficult to drive into the braking zones. Playing a careful balance with the delicately handling Brumos, Law tried to keep the mistakes to a minimum. Although he briefly dropped tires in the famed "Bus Stop" chicane on the back straight, he was able to quickly regain the one position lost and brought the #58 to the checkered flag in fifth.
Law and Donohue have finished in the top 5 in the past four Rolex Series races.
The night scheduled Brumos Porsche 250 left little time for Darren to travel, so the next morning he took a flight to upstate New York for the Koni Challenge race held at Watkins Glen. Teammate Andrew Davis had placed the #19 Motorsports Technology Group MAH 720 Property Management Porsche 997 8th on the Grand Sport class grid.
Prior to the race, Law was able to turn a few laps in the Koni Challenge car, and was fourth quick in the final practice before the 4:40 pm EST time start of the scheduled 2 hour 45 minute event.
Davis took the start of the race and did well to stay clear of the troubles that were abundant on track. There were six full course yellow caution periods for a total of 23 of the 55 laps run in the race, and Davis was able to run near the front of the field for much of his stint.
A miscue during a stop for fuel and tires dropped the #19 several positions but Law was able to make up several of the spots once he took over from Andrew on after the first 90 minutes of the race. With more caution periods during his stint, Law drove with a sharp eye out for problems and worked traffic to finish 17th.
The Brumos Porsche was pretty fast right out the of the box. Since we don't have a lot of time during this race with everything taking place in one day, there isn't a lot of set up time. The car was good though for most of the race. The headlight issue hung us up a bit, but we were able to recover from that. The braking at the end though was really tough to manage. It felt like all we had was rear brake, and it was hard to drive deep into the brake zone without getting the car way out shape. Considering the issues we ran into during the race, I think that David and I are actually pretty happy to have walked away with a clean car and another top five finish.
In the Koni race we had a fast car for sure. Andrew did a really good job during his stint, and I just tried to keep the car clean and worked on moving up as far as I could. The yellows made it hard to make up positions and traffic was tough. 80 cars is a lot to have out there -- it makes for a busy stint behind the wheel!
Darren doesn't have much time to rest as he travels to Lime Rock Park for next weekend's American Le Mans Series event where he'll be driving the #44 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche GT3 RSR.