Portimao: Darren Turner race report

Darren Turner and Rob Bell took the JMW Motorsport Aston Martin GT2 to its first Le Mans Series finish in last night's 1000kms of Algarve. The British duo put in an impressive drive in very hot conditions to take the No.92 car to fourth place in...

Darren Turner and Rob Bell took the JMW Motorsport Aston Martin GT2 to its first Le Mans Series finish in last night's 1000kms of Algarve. The British duo put in an impressive drive in very hot conditions to take the No.92 car to fourth place in what has been described as the most competitive GT2 class in the world.

It was Rob's turn to take the start and he did a sterling job, moving up from eighth to sixth during his first stint. When Darren joined the race he was in fifth place but he very quickly passed Martin Ragginger's Porsche for fourth and set off after the third placed Porsche, driven by Marco Holzer. Third place was easy as the Porsche stopped on track so Darren soon had the second place Ferrari of Toni Vilander in his sights.

He quickly made his move on the Ferrari and the JMW Aston Martin was then running in second and catching the race leader. Just after the two-hour mark Darren pitted to hand over to Rob who rejoined the race in eighth place. Once the order settled he was back up to second where he stayed for his run.

"The pit stop before my second stint was a long one as we had a small power steering issue," said Darren. "This meant we dropped to third, behind Leitz in the Porsche. I managed to catch him but he was defending very well so we stayed third but right on his tail."

After four and a half hours of racing the Aston Martin was still running well, with both Darren and Rob engaging in some thrilling wheel-to-wheel battles. The extended pit stops eventually dropped the car to fourth place, losing a place to one of the AF Corse Ferraris, but some determined driving saw them hang onto fourth and take their best result of the season so far.

"I think this result is a real testament to the hard work put in by JMW Motorsport and Aston Martin Racing," said Darren. "The partnership is really starting to blossom now and we had a great race as a result of that. It was good to get stuck into the lead battle and I think we could have fought for second if it wasn't for the few problems we had. The great thing is that we're all really fired up for the next race in Budapest now as we know what we are capable of!"

-source: dt

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Darren Turner , Rob Bell , Marco Holzer , Toni Vilander , Martin Ragginger
Teams Aston Martin Racing , AF Corse , JMW Motorsport