in Brumos Porsche at Barber
On a blisteringly hot and humid Sunday afternoon in Alabama, Darren Law and teammate David Donohue scorched much of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No 16 competition, as they earned yet another podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park in their #58 Brumos Porsche Riley Daytona Prototype. The intense weather overheated several drivers and claimed a few cars as well, but Law was strong to the checkered flag, taking second place a mere 0.341 seconds behind race winner and current DP points leader Scott Pruett in the #01 Telmex Lexus Riley. Law and Donohue have scored runner up finishes in three of the last four races.
The #58 was uncharacteristically off its typical 2008 season pace through much of the practice sessions, and Donohue, who has claimed pole position three times this year, was only able to place the car in the top six on the final grid. Law and Donohue were both confident however that the race set up they had worked on for much of the weekend would bear fruit during the scheduled 2 hour 45 minute race on the immaculately prepared Barber Motorsports Park circuit.
Donohue took the start of the Sunday afternoon race amidst clear conditions, but temperatures that were reported to have topped 102 degrees. David drove a clean stint and was able to clearly match the race pace of the leaders. By lap 30 Donohue was securely in third, sandwiched between Scott Pruett and the pole position winning Michael Valiante in the #10 Sun Trust Pontiac Riley. On lap 34, immediately following a full course yellow, Donohue brought the #58 down pit road and made a stop for a full tank of Sunoco fuel and a new set of Pirelli slicks. Donohue also handed the Brumos Porsche over to Law.
The stop dropped the #58 Brumos outside the top five and left Darren with a stint that would last almost two full hours. Darren began to slowly move his way forward in the field. By lap 67, with an hour left in the event, Law found himself fourth behind the #61 of Brian Friselle. The last hour of racing, although punctuated by two full course yellows, saw yet another fantastic Grand-Am Rolex finish with Law working his way through the field.
A very late passing move on lap 74 by Marc Goosens in the #91 resulted in contact with Law and almost took both cars off the circuit. Law, clearly less than enthused by Goosens’ maneuver, tailed the #91 closely, and in a move that was both skillfully and aggressive, returned the favor, moving the #58 past the #91 and back into fourth. From then on, Law and the top three were able to build a gap to the rest of the field.
After a clutch failure in the #99 Gainsco Bob Stallings Pontiac Riley took the 2007 championship winners out of contention, Law was able to close in on Pruett. Darren was clearly quicker into the corners, making up several car lengths on Pruett under braking, but the #01 Telmex machine was able to better put the power to the ground and would open a small gap down the following straight. Law and Pruett matched lap times for much of the final part of the race. Although Darren was able to make a final charge at the #01, he could not find a way by and had to settle for 2nd.
Law and Donohue, after a rough start to the 08 season are now coming on strong in the Daytona Prototype championship points race and have moved well into the top ten.
"That was a terrific race. We weren’t the quickest car in practice, but we knew that things would come together in the race. We seemed to be able to maintain pace in some of the longer runs and both David and I just tried to keep the pressure on. It was very hot and humid, but I hydrated as much as I could before getting in and I actually felt pretty good during my stint considering the conditions. I have to thank David, as he not only had a great opening stint, but went for the first hour without the coolsuit to allow me to have enough ice to run to the finish of the race.
Scott (Pruett) and I were very closely matched there toward the end of the race, but I just couldn’t quite get by. It was close for sure, I’m just hoping we can finally get to that top step of the podium."
Darren will be heading to Canada and the famed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve July 28 for the next event on the Rolex series schedule, and will be back in the Brumos yet again for the Crown Royal 250 at Watkins Glen August 7-8. Darren depends on CDOC’s racing expertise for all his racing, safety and performance equipment needs. CDOC has been an important product supporter of Darren’s throughout this season, and the equipment they provide has allowed him to maintain peak performance in all of his races this year. CDOC is a world leader in the distribution of OMP, Alpinestars, Bell and HANS brands as well as over 100 other performance lines. View the entire line of CDOC performance and racing products at cdoc.com.
Darren wears protective gear from Shock Doctor, which is also carried by CDOC. You can find out more information on Darren’s newest product partner at shockdoctor.com