Spa: Darren Turner race report

MAXIMUM ATTACK An excellent performance in qualifying for today's Le Mans Series race at Spa saw Darren Turner line up in third place on the grid in the 009 Aston Martin, right behind the two diesel-powered Peugeots. After being on the receiving...

MAXIMUM ATTACK

An excellent performance in qualifying for today's Le Mans Series race at Spa saw Darren Turner line up in third place on the grid in the 009 Aston Martin, right behind the two diesel-powered Peugeots. After being on the receiving end of a puncture on the first lap Darren had to fight his way through the entire field, getting all the way back up to third before the end of his run. The 009 Aston Martin ultimately finished the 1000km race in fifth position.

Darren got away well at the rolling start and was taking a safe inside line into the first corner when he was hit from behind by Jean-Christophe Boullion's Pescarolo. This punctured one of the Aston Martin's rear tyres and Darren had to complete a full slow lap before he could pit for repairs. Once he rejoined he was right at the back of the field of almost 50 cars so the only course of action was maximum attack!

Making very light work of the traffic on the spectacular Spa track, Darren scythed his way through and was up to sixth place, then fifth, then fourth. Just before the one-hour mark he made the move up to third place, retaking his original starting spot. The leading duo of Peugeots were 20 seconds up the road by this point.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the scrap back up to third," said Darren. "It was only a gentle tap from the Pescarolo but it hit the sweet spot and knocked the tyre off the rim. The safety car was out so even though I ended up at the back we didn't go a lap down. We have really good pace now and I'm a lot more comfortable in the car. We made a new seat for this race; it's still a compromise between the three of us but I'm not rattling around any more."

Darren did close the gap to the Peugeots to just 10 seconds before pitting from third place after almost two hours in the car to hand over to team-mate, Miguel Ramos. The Portuguese driver had a good, long stint in 009 before Harold Primat jumped in for the run to the chequered flag, battling all the way and almost taking fourth in the closing laps.

The next race is the big one: The Le Mans 24 Hours. Darren was delighted to score LMS points in the run up to Le Mans and equally pleased to see the 007 Aston Martin take a podium finish.

"It was good to get both cars home in the points today," he said. "Reliability is everything at Le Mans so it's good that we are only having minor technical issues. The worst thing that happened to 009 today, apart from the puncture, was having a slightly longer pit stop to have the front section replaced when the headlights played up. We weren't the only ones though and I think both Astons ran very well considering this is still such a new project. Now we go to Le Mans where anything can happen!"

-credit: dt

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Darren Turner , Harold Primat , Miguel Ramos