Turner Captures GT1 Pole at Lime Rock British driver Darren Turner drove the 007 Aston Martin DBR9 to pole position in GT1 today for Saturday's New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. Turner's lap time of 50.272 seconds on the 1.45-mile track...
Turner Captures GT1 Pole at Lime Rock
British driver Darren Turner drove the 007 Aston Martin DBR9 to pole position in GT1 today for Saturday's New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. Turner's lap time of 50.272 seconds on the 1.45-mile track gave him his first pole in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
Pedro Lamy qualified the 009 DBR9 in fourth position (50.905) after an incident near the end of the second practice session almost prevented him from qualifying. Lamy, in order to avoid another car, drove off course and came to rest in a deep puddle of water just 20 minutes before the start of the qualifying session. Officials towed the car back to the paddock where the team set about removing the mud and water that had filled the car. The damage was largely superficial and the team managed to get the car back on the track with 12 minutes of the qualifying session remaining.
Friday was the first time the team and the drivers had run at Lime Rock Park so it was a learning experience for everyone with all four of the Aston Martin Racing drivers using the two test sessions to familiarise themselves with the track.
Between testing sessions, the Aston Martin Racing 009 crew took part in the first round of the ALMS pit crew challenge and are through to the semi-finals to be held at Mosport on 2 September. The 007 crew are scheduled to take part in their first round competition on 19 August at Road America.
George Howard-Chappell, Team Principal, Aston Martin Racing: "Excellent job by Darren, I'm very pleased with that. Darren was running really well in the second session so it made sense for him to qualify. The 009 crew did a great job in getting the car back out after the minor off. Luckily the damage was mostly superficial - there was some damage to the floor and everything was completely soaking wet, there was half a ton of mud in the car which took a bit of cleaning up but it was a good effort by the team and it's nice to see the Pirelli tyres working well around here."
CAR 007: 1st GT1 (8th overall) 50.272s
Darren Turner (UK): "I'm delighted. This is the first pole for me in the series. Tomas and I flipped a coin to see who would qualify, I won and I had a good feeling so I decided to go for it. I found the first session this morning quite scary. I spoke to the other drivers and we were all the same, it's pretty bumpy and quite technical as well.
"We came here with a similar set-up to Sebring because the track there is also very bumpy. We have made a few set-up changes. We made a few tweaks before qualifying and the set-up we have now seems pretty good.
"We are not sure what will happen in the race as we haven't done a race distance on a set of tyres just yet so we will have to see how it goes. Without a doubt our competitors will be pushing hard so it should be an interesting race."
Tomas Enge (Czech Republic): "I am so happy with the qualifying. The track is a new challenge for us. This track is bumpy like Houston but the danger to go off here is bigger than in Houston as the track there was wider and there were more possibilities to overtake. We still have work to do as this was the first time we have run the car here. I think we are going to make some small changes to the set up to improve the car but overall we are happy with the set up and the result."
CAR 009: 4th GT1 (11th overall) 50.905s
Pedro Lamy (Portugal): "There was a lot of traffic, I was trying to overtake a car on the outside and he didn't let me past easily, I braked a bit too late and ended up off the circuit in the water. The team did a great job and fixed the car quickly. The car was full of water when I came in and when I got back out on the track the car was quite slippery and difficult to drive at first but then it was okay. I think we have a good car though. It is a shame this happened but hopefully everything will be fine for the race."
Stephane Sarrazin (France): "Testing this morning was very good, the car was easy to drive and had good balance. The track is very bumpy and very hard, it is also very narrow and difficult to overtake, it is very easy to make a mistake when you are overtaking which we saw this afternoon with Pedro. I immediately had a good feeling with the track, I liked it straight away."