The (vintage) chequered flag came down on another glorious Goodwood Revival meeting yesterday, which proved to be particularly poignant for Darren Turner who got to race his own MK1 Turner, along with some other very special cars.
The St Mary’s Trophy always provides fantastic entertainment so when Darren qualified the Austin A40 he shared with Desmond Smail in second place for Part 1 he looked set to grab a great result but trouble was already brewing.
“We had a bit of a misfire in qualifying so it was evident from the word go that the car was not running as sweet as it had done,” explained Darren. “What we lacked in straight line speed though we almost made up with tremendous handling so it was a fun race for me. Andrew Jordan, Emanuele Pirro and Anthony Reid passed me on the straights so I had to settle for fourth but I was pleased to get that with the misfire. Unfortunately for Desmond the car wouldn’t fire up for the start of Part 2 due to an electrical problem, which is probably what was causing the misfire. It was a shame for him as the car was such fun to drive.”
The TT race is the big race of the Goodwood Revival weekend and Darren drove the same AC Cobra he raced last year with Rory Henderson. Darren qualified the car in fifth place on the grid, a full second faster than his 2013 qualifying time.
“I understand the Cobra better now and that has made a big difference,” he said. “In the race I got a good start and managed to move up into third place. There were two Cobras ahead and we were in a comfortable third but for some reason I suddenly lost the back end quite dramatically and had to have a bit of a run along the grass. Then, when I got to the chicane at the end of that lap, the car at the front of that pack had a spin and caused havoc. All in all I lost eight or nine places so it wasn’t exactly the best lap in the history of motorsport!”
Despite the dramas Darren managed to hand the car over to Henderson unscathed and he brought it across the line in 13th place.
The highlight of Darren’s weekend though was the Revival debut of his very own MK1 Turner.
“What a lovely experience it is to enter your own car at Goodwood,” he said. “It was fun from the moment we pitched up on Thursday and unloaded the car from the trailer. I had ‘Barnie’, my old No.1 Mechanic from Aston Martin Racing, there to help me and it was a good job as I had a lot to learn. Simple things like filling the car with fuel and checking tyre pressures – all the things I don’t usually have to worry about – kept us very busy.
“She ran like clockwork though,” he continued. “I qualified an amazing 21st out of 28 cars so she’s not quite a rocket ship yet. I was all set to storm through and take the lead by turn one but someone had parked in my grid position. Ok, I thought, I’ll just park behind him and go from there. Unfortunately he then had a terrible start so I got delayed too!”
It was a fairly lonely race after that for Darren but he enjoyed every second of it. Since racing his Turner in the 72nd Members Meeting in March it has had a new engine, which has made it six seconds a lap faster. All it needs now is another six seconds and it will be on the pace!
To finish off a fabulous weekend Darren was asked to drive the McLaren Can Am car in the Sir Jackie Stewart parade at the Revival, describing it as ‘a beast but in a good way’.
“That was my fourth Revival,” he said. “It’s an outstanding event and it just gets better every year. There’s a reason why it’s called Glorious Goodwood.”