CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY! Darren Turner wrapped up his first full season in the Le Mans Series with a fourth place finish at Silverstone today. As a long-serving member of the Aston Martin Racing team, Darren was delighted to play his part...
Darren Turner wrapped up his first full season in the Le Mans Series with a fourth place finish at Silverstone today. As a long-serving member of the Aston Martin Racing team, Darren was delighted to play his part in securing the Le Mans Series Teams' Championship title, 50 years after Aston Martin took victory in the World Sportscar Championship.
After securing third place in qualifying, Darren started the race right behind the 007 Aston Martin of Stefan Mucke. Knowing that it would be catastrophic to tangle with the sister car Darren made a steady start, which saw Mucke head off into the lead, flowed by Nicolas Lapierre's ORECA and then Darren in third. After keeping a watching brief, Darren grabbed his chance when Lapierre got boxed in at Copse, dropping down a gear and powering past the ORECA into second place.
Towards the end of the first hour Darren slipped back to third when he lost a place to the fast-charging Pescarolo, which later hit trouble. At his first pit-stop the plan was to change just the tyres on the left-hand side of the car but after Darren reported a vibration the team took the safe option and changed all four tyres which dropped him about 30 seconds back off the lead car.
Back on track Darren completed his second hour and handed the 009 car over to Harold Primat in third place. Harold had a good run but had to pit five laps earlier than planned when he picked up a puncture that would scupper the duo's chance of a podium finish.
In the closing stages of the race Darren was running in second place but the out-of-sync pit-stop from earlier meant that he had to head into the pits for a ‘splash and dash' fuel stop. He took the chequered flag in fourth place, just behind the 007 car which took the driver's title, but it was a full team effort that took the team's title for Aston Martin Racing.
"What a fantastic day for Aston Martin," said Darren. "It's an amazing achievement to take the championship, especially here at Silverstone with all the added pressure of a home race. I've had a great day as all my personal sponsors, friends and family have been here. It's lovely to have their support and it has made this a very special day for me."
Darren will be heading back in time next weekend as he's set to compete at the Goodwood Revival race meeting. It's unlikely he'll leave his competitive streak in the present day though so you can expect to see a classic Mini Cooper S fighting hard for honours in the St Mary's Trophy race. He's up against some stiff competition with names like Derek Bell, John Cleland, Jochen Mass, Bobby Rahal and Rowan Atkinson (!), lining up on the bill for the main race. In addition to this Darren will race an AC Cobra in the TT race, just as soon as he gets his outfit sorted!