Darren Turner took his second podium of the 2017 European Le Mans Series yesterday with a third place finish at Monza in Italy. After two rounds of the championship the Beechdean AMR team lies in third place in the standings.
The #99 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE had a Balance of Performance change before the race and Ross Gunn had to accept seventh place when qualifying for Sunday’s race. It was then team boss Andrew Howard who took the start of the ‘4 Hours of Monza’.
“Andrew did a great job in the opening stint,” said Turner. “Monza was an eventful race with many incidents throughout and a few Full Course Yellows. Andrew had strong pace and worked his way up to fifth during the stint. This was the start of us going forward in the race.”
All of the on track incidents kept Beechdean AMR busy throughout the race, with the team working hard to keep on top of multiple strategy changes, in order to make the most of every opportunity that came their way.
Gunn was up next and he did a good job of piling on the pressure to the cars in front. He pitted early due to a Full Course Yellow then rejoined and completed a full stint after that.
“It was hard to know exactly where we were up to at that point,” said Turner. “The cars were all on different strategies and we didn’t know who was going to need a splash and dash at the end.
With 90 minutes of the race left to run, Turner jumped in to continue the battle. He had a smooth run with no disruptions before handing the car back to Gunn for the short run to the chequered flag. The team opted to just change the left side tyres, which bought time in the pits and helped Gunn to grab third place.
“It was good to go from Saturday’s disappointing qualifying to a podium finish on Sunday,” said Turner. “A great strategy from the team and Andrew’s strong opening stint really helped us. While it is good to get a second podium, our objective for the next race has to be first or second place.
“It’s great that the ELMS has an event at Monza now,” he continued. “It’s such a beautiful ‘old school’ circuit and it made for great racing and many interesting battles.”
The next round of the European Le Mans Series takes place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in July after the traditional break in the calendar for June’s Le Mans 24 Hours.