Darren Turner and his teammates took a brilliant 12th place overall from a grid of over 200 cars in yesterday’s VLN race at the Nordschleife, completing a successful dress rehearsal for the Nürburgring 24 Hours, which gets underway in just three weeks’ time.
Reunited with his ex-FIA GT1 team, Young Driver AMR, Darren raced the No.37 V12 Vantage GT3 along with Tomas Enge, Stefan Mücke and Nürburgring specialist Oliver Mathai.
Darren took part in his first Nürburgring 24 Hours only last year so this weekend’s race was another baptism of fire for the British racer. He took the race start with only one lap under his belt in the practice session and one in qualifying.
This didn’t seem to slow Darren down as he moved from 38th on the grid up to 21st after just two laps.
“I think I managed to get past around 10 cars on the first lap then I just had to keep picking them off after that,” explained Darren. “The race was manic from the start and I had a really good battle with a Porsche for a while. I don’t know who it was; he held me off well but I got him eventually. From lap three we were catching the backmarkers and it’s hard as they are usually in big packs of around 20 cars, all having their own battles.”
Darren fell in love with the Nordschleife last year and he was soon reminded why the circuit is so special.
“When I say the race was manic I mean that in the best possible way,” he said. “There are two things that make racing here so unique. First, the Nordschleife is a big handful in itself but when you add to that the huge amount of cars and the varying levels of driving ability it is a massive challenge just to complete a lap without collecting any dents!”
“We had a good race,” he continued. “It was good to see my old team and to drive the car, which has come on really well since I last drove it at the end of last year. I’m excited now about the 24 Hours!”
Before he can return to the Nürburgring Darren will race at another of the world’s top racing circuits as he competes for Aston Martin Racing at the FIA World Endurance Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend.