Darren Turner completed the first leg of his whistle-stop tour of China today with a fifth place finish in the FIA GT1 World Championship Race at Ordos in Inner Mongolia. He now heads to Beijing, sitting in fourth place in the championship with two more events to go.
The Ordos weekend didn't get off to the most auspicious of starts when Darren and his team-mate, Stefan Mucke, qualified the No.8 Aston Martin DBR9 in 13th place for the Qualifying Race. Stefan was behind the wheel for the start of that race and he made good progress at the start, moving up to 10th, but dropped to 12th just before the pit window opened. A great stop by the Young Driver AMR team got Darren out onto the track in eighth place, which he held until the chequered flag.
Disqualification for a Lamborghini meant that Darren started the all-important Championship Race in seventh position on the grid.
“I had the inside line and managed to pass a Lamborghini into turn two,” explained Darren. “I got a Nissan at the next corner and then stayed in fifth place after that. There was quite a long safety car period while they recovered a car and just a handful of racing laps before the pit stops began.”
Stefan jumped in for the run to the flag, taking fifth at the finish.
“All in all, considering we started 13th we did okay to plug away and take fifth at the end,” continued Darren. “Ordos turned out to be a lot of fun, for a small and twisty circuit. The track is very technical and it’s easy to make a mistake as the racing line is very narrow and there is a lot of debris off line. We were a long way off the pace of the leading Ford and the Nissan today but let’s go and see what happens in Beijing.”
Both races in Beijing take place next Saturday. Catch the action at GT1World.com.