Darren Turner delivered a masterclass in GT racing at this weekend’s International GT Open double-header at Silverstone. Driving with Jody Fannin in the No.8 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Turner won yesterday’s race and finished second in today’s race due to an insurmountable time penalty.
A stunning performance in qualifying saw Darren put the TF Sport Aston Martin on pole position for the first of the weekend’s two races. He was at the wheel for the start of race one and after making an impressive start he disappeared into the distance, looking like he was in a class of his own.
He handed the car over to Fannin with a very comfortable buffer and he was able to maintain the race lead, despite a hefty time penalty in the pit stop, applied to all new series entrants.
Although Darren’s dominance allowed him to drive in splendid isolation throughout his run, Fannin was also running away in the lead when the safety car was dispatched while a stranded car was removed from the track. This bunched up the pack and left just a handful of full-speed racing laps at the end of the race. The young racer did a good job though and crossed the line to take the victory.
“I’m really happy for the TF Sport guys and also Aston Martin Racing,” said Darren. “Having a race win at Silverstone is always very special as this is our home track. This win was all about team work. I got my head down at the start and pushed as hard as I could in my stint, the guys did a great stop and then Jody did a great couple of laps when he jumped in. He then had to deal with the pressure of the restart but it all worked out well for us.”
Starting duty for today’s race fell to Fannin, who lined up in fifth place on the grid. He took fourth into turn one, third when a Ferrari ran wide and then picked his way past second and into the lead of the race. Running in second was the No.60 SMP Racing Ferrari, which would have an extra five seconds to wait in the pit stop, while Darren and Jody had a massive 30 seconds extra due to yesterday’s win.
That gap was insurmountable; despite a very rapid charge by Darren in the second half of the race - where he took fastest lap for the second time this weekend - it was the Ferrari that took the win. Darren crossed the line in second place, happy with his debut in International GT Open.
“It was a good weekend,” he said. “The TF Sport guys did a good job. The car was very well balanced and the race set up was spot on. As ever, the Aston Martin went well at Silverstone; it’s a track that suits us and the track temperatures definitely played a part too. The results were more than we could have hoped for.”