Aston Martin works driver Darren Turner travels to the US today for the ‘Roar before the 24’, the official pre-event test for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Darren will lead the charge in the No.98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, which is entered in the competitive GT Le Mans class.
The opening round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship traditionally kicks off the new racing season and after winning the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship last year Darren is keen to keep the momentum going with a good showing at Daytona.
“The Daytona event is very enjoyable,” said Turner. “It’s always a fun race – it’s a unique circuit with the banking and it always produces good races.
“Last year was difficult as we weren’t able to run our low downforce set up, which is what you need at Daytona,” he continued. “We were also hindered by the fuel fill restriction so we lost time during each pit stop because of that and then lost even more time on the straights. This year things are much better in both of those areas; we can run our Le Mans set up so we’ll be more competitive.”
The team will be busy this weekend running through an intensive test programme to make sure everything is ready for their return to Daytona at the end of the month. With 24-hour races notorious for throwing up a few surprises, good preparation is vital.
“As ever the team back in Banbury have been working hard to keep us competitive and we have a few developments since last year,” said Turner. “As with every 24-hour race getting to end would be a great achievement and if we were able to sneak onto the podium that would be a lovely way to start the year.”
The Roar before the 24 runs from this Friday until Sunday. The 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona will get the green light on Saturday 24 January at 14:30hrs local time. Keep an eye on Darren’s Official Facebook page (link below) nearer the time for information on how to follow all of the action from Daytona.