Darren Law is heading back to Daytona International Speedway this week with a familiar team and car, but more power and performance potential. The Phoenix driver is rejoining GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing for the Rolex 24 At Daytona (Jan. 25 and 26) and this week's Roar Before the Rolex 24 test (Jan. 3 to 5). Law will team with John Fogarty of Bend, Ore.; Memo Gidley of Novato, Calif.; and Alex Gurney of Irvine, Calif., in the No. 99 Corvette-powered Daytona Prototype.
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing participated in a private test in December, giving Law and his co-drivers their first opportunity to drive the Corvette DP with 2014 upgrades.
"The DPs have some big changes," Law noted. "The cars have more horsepower, more rpm, more downforce and carbon brakes. This was a significantly different car, much improved and a lot more fun to drive. In fact, I didn't want to get out!
"More power is great and the grip level is good, but the most noticeable change was the carbon brakes. It stops hard. On my first test lap, coming into the Bus Stop [turn], I went to my normal brake reference and I was literally stopped. I had to gas it to get back to the corner. It was impressive!"
The car changes reflect the merger of the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series into the current TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Although the ALMS featured multiple classes, the Rolex Series had only two classes on track in recent years. Law is fortunate to have competed in both series, in both prototype and GT classes, giving him an edge on the competition.
"You have to have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each class car, so you know when to take a risk or when not to, based on the particular car and class," he explained. "All the guys who have been running ALMS or WEC [World Endurance Championship] have experience with multiple classes, so we can use that knowledge and experience at Daytona."