Darren Turner and his Aston Martin Racing team mate Stefan Mucke took a podium finish in the British round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship today. Racing on home turf at Silverstone Darren was delighted to get the job done for Aston Martin after a tough battle with the best that Ferrari and Porsche has to offer.
The team had to work hard for its success at Silverstone. During the free practice sessions they struggled to get the front tyres to work but come race day the higher ambient temperature helped to unlock the performance and put the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE in the ballpark with the competition.
It was a mixed qualifying session as the rapidly drying track turned the result into a lottery. Stefan, whose turn it was to qualify the Aston, was unfortunate as he went to slicks one lap too late so he ended up sixth in GTE. There was still a long six hours of racing ahead though so everything was wide open for race day and it was down to Darren to take the start.
“Warm up had gone well for us and we were happy with the car and feeling confident for the race,” said Darren. “As ever the start was hectic but I managed to stay out of trouble and pick up a couple of places on the first lap. I got a little bit stuck behind the JMW Ferrari which gave the lead two cars a bit of a gap but as the stint went on I was able to close in on the AF Corse Ferrari and by the end of my stint I was challenging for the lead.”
Stefan jumped in for a double stint but it became apparent that the AF Corse car had the legs on the Aston Martin in terms of fuel so they were really racing for second place against the Porsche. That car then had a suspension problem so Stefan was toing and froing for position with the AF Corse and the JMW Ferraris.
“During my next run I was second for most of it but having to drive like a demon to make the break from the JMW Ferrari to build up a buffer as the Ferraris could run longer than us,” explained Darren. “Unfortunately the Safety Car then took that buffer away so I had to do it all over again. Then the front splitter came loose which meant I had to box earlier than anticipated and it took a good minute to make the repairs before Stefan could go out and finish the race.”
All eyes were on the Aston Martin for the last 40 minutes of the race as Stefan rejoined in fourth place and closed in to take third position just two corners from the end.
“It has been a great weekend racing at home,” said Darren. “It was nice to have family and sponsors with me over the weekend and great to get a good result for them. I’m now looking forward to the sun of Brazil where we will compete again in just three weeks time.”