Darren Turner had another FIA GT1 World Championship event to forget at Navarra this weekend. Grid penalties and technical problems took away any chance for the British racer to score the points he needs to boost his championship chances.
Serving Stefan Mucke’s penalty from the previous round at Silverstone, the No.8 Young Driver Aston Martin DBR9 lined up at the back of the grid for Saturday’s qualifying race. Stefan started the race and he and Darren set about staging a determined comeback drive that saw Stefan pit in 12th place and Darren bring the car home in sixth, taking the last of the available points. It was a tough stint for Darren, racing in scorching temperatures, and hotly pursued by Peter Dumbreck for 20 laps. He got the job done though and set up a great starting spot for the main championship race.
Unfortunately a five-place suspended grid penalty that Mucke acquired at Zolder, back in April, was then applied to the No.8 car and Darren suddenly had a lot more work to do, starting the championship race from 11th place.
“The start went well and I gained a bit at turn one,” said Darren. “Then there was a big concertina going into turn three and I was tucked in behind Tomas (Enge) when he had contact with another car. I got a little tap but there was no damage and I was able to continue on my way. After that I ran in tenth place for most of my stint. We’ve struggled with the rear end this weekend so I had to concentrate on staying on the track, rather than attacking the car in front.”
Darren pitted from tenth place to hand over to Mucke but two laps after the German joined the race the No.8 Aston Martin retired.
“The team did us proud again in the pit stops and Stefan was able to join the race in sixth place,” explained Darren. “Just when it looked like we were on for some points something broke in the drive train and that was the end of that. “
“Navarra was certainly less eventful than Silverstone but just as disappointing. What we need to do now is put the last two events behind us and get focused for Ricard. We need to get back to scoring points before the championship gap gets too wide.”