Darren Turner and his Young Driver AMR team-mate, Stefan Mucke, took two podium finishes at this weekend’s FIA GT1 World Championship event at Paul Ricard. Third place in yesterday’s qualifying race and second in today’s headline race means the pair move up to fourth place in the standings after a couple of troubled weekends.
The Aston duo qualified the No.8 DBR9 in fifth position for the first race so on Saturday afternoon Darren lined up behind three Nissan GT-Rs and the sister Young Driver AMR DBR9. When the lights went green Darren made his move at turn one, getting ahead of one of the Nissans. At the pit stops he handed the car over to Stefan in fourth place, which the German held throughout his run, before passing Richard Westbrook’s Nissan GT-R for third on the last lap of the race.
“I was surprised by the move Tomas (Enge) made,” said Darren, as Enge passed Westbrook just before Mucke made his move. “I was even more surprised to see Stefan in third place. I didn’t see it on TV as I was already walking out of the garage. I had good battles with the Nissan and the Corvette in the early stages and thankfully got to the pit stop in P4. Stefan had a race on his own for a while then it was only on the last lap that it all started to kick off. It was good result for the team.”
It was Stefan’s turn to start the race today and he got away cleanly, staying in third until the pit stops. Another blisteringly fast stop by the Young Driver AMR crew got Darren into the race in second place. A very fast out lap meant that Darren was soon hot on the heels of the lead Nissan of Lucas Luhr. The gap closed down to half a second at one point but the two of them were so evenly matched that the positions held until the chequered flag.
“To take third yesterday then climb one step higher today on a circuit where we didn’t really expect a result is great,” said Darren. “The guys did an absolutely fantastic pit stop and Stefan was really strong and kept out of trouble, which is good for Stefan! The car was probably the best it has ever been in its configuration for the (FIA GT1) World Championship so we’re very happy with second.”