Darren Turner was at Paul Ricard in France this weekend for the first race of the 2011 Le Mans Series. Along with Stefan Mucke and Harold Primat, Darren drove Aston Martin’s brand new open-top LMP1 race car, the AMR-One, in what was effectively an extended and successful test session for Aston Martin Racing.
Mucke qualified the car in fifth place in the LMP1 class and it was down to Darren to take the start of the six-hour race. When the lights went green chaos reigned supreme as the safety car was still at the head of the field. With half of the cars thinking the start was green and the other half ready for another warm up lap, the resulting repair bills will be argued over for a long time to came but luckily Darren managed to keep AMR-One out of harm’s way.
“After all the carnage at the start I soon settled into a rhythm,” said Darren. “I was in constant communication with the team so we could try out various different settings. That first stint was the longest run we have done so far and we tried different things throughout, working with the controls that we have to hand, constantly gathering data. I really enjoyed driving the car and when I came in for my stop everything ran like clockwork.”
“Harold (Primat) then jumped in for his stint,” continued Darren. “He came in briefly for a precautionary stop to check something seen in the data but was soon back out again. He completed his run and then Stefan (Mucke) jumped in. Not long into Stefan’s run we picked up a misfire which took an hour or two in the garage to rectify but as with any test the team solved the problem and sent the car back out.”
“We made a big step in the right direction today; a great deal was learned and I am now very much looking forward to the next outing in AMR-One.”