Darren Turner and his Aston Martin Racing team mate, Jonny Adam, finished the 6 Hours of Fuji in sixth place in the GTE Pro class on Sunday. Held at Fuji Speedway in Japan, Round 7 of the FIA World Endurance Championship was stopped after 4.5 hours due to bad weather and peppered with safety cars, red flags and slow zones.
“We knew before we arrived that it was going to be a difficult weekend when we saw the weather forecast,” said Turner. “The Fuji circuit is always a challenge but it becomes all the more so when it is wet.”
The weather was bad throughout the event but the weather gods saved their best for last on race day, delivering rain and fog for the start of the race.
The race started under the Safety Car with Adam behind the wheel of the #97 Aston Martin, which had lined up in eighth position. Shortly after the conclusion of the first hour the race was red flagged as the fog had caused the conditions to become too treacherous. The entire field of WEC cars lined up on the start/finish straight to await a break in the weather, which came along 30 minutes later.
“This race was completely different to anything we have seen for a while,” said Turner. “We had two red flags, six safety cars and slow zones all over the place! With the pace that we had we were never going to be able to fight at the front so our strategy was designed to make the most of any scenario that would give us an advantage.”
The team did a great job of maximising those opportunities and Turner and Adam were able to complete the race in sixth place when it was red flagged for the second and final time at the 4.5 hour mark.
“Sixth place is obviously not the best result but we scored some points in a difficult weekend,” said Turner. The focus is now very much on Shanghai where hopefully the weather will be better!”