On the 10th anniversary of his first Le Mans 24 Hours, double winner Darren Turner took a podium finish after 24 hours of fast and furious racing in the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.
After the practice sessions Darren was hopeful of a top three grid position so he was pleased to grab second place in the GTE-Pro class.
“It was good to be up at the sharp end, especially when you consider we were concentrating on getting the right race balance,” said Darren. “This is the first time at Le Mans with this car so we were very encouraged with the pace we found.”
Stefan Mucke took the race start and soon moved into the lead. Darren was up next for a triple stint, which saw him go back into battle with Aston Martin’s old adversaries Corvette.
“I had a fun fight with Tommy (Milner) in the Corvette,” he said. “The tricky thing though was that we were starting to get an issue with the brakes so it got quite hairy while I was battling with Tommy.”
The safety car period triggered by Anthony Davidson’s accident gave the Aston Martin Racing Team the opportunity to change the brakes on the Vantage GTE – calipers, discs and pads – which transformed the car.
“I had two good stints through the night with everything running perfectly,” continued Darren. “Stefan went off and clattered the wall at Indianapolis in the early morning, which cost us 10 minutes but other than that we had a trouble free run.”
“The fact of the matter is that the Ferrari can go three laps further than us so we were never going to match them for overall race pace so it is a tremendous effort from the team to take third place at Le Mans. To have the car run like practically like clockwork in its first 24 hour race is fantastic.”
“I really enjoyed my 10th Le Mans and look forward to doing it all again next year. For now though I would like to wish my good friend Anthony Davidson a very speedy recovery!”