This weekend’s Spa 24 Hours became the Spa 7 Hours for Darren Turner when the GPR-run Aston Martin Vantage GT3 had to retire during the night after developing a technical problem.
Darren shared the No.100 2012-spec Vantage GT3 with Belgian racer Bertrand Baguette and Aston Martin Racing team-mate Jamie Campbell-Walter.
“Jamie and I voted to let Bertrand do qualifying and he did a mega job, taking seventh place in Superpole,” explained Darren. “One of the cars ahead then got a penalty so we were promoted to sixth.”
Baguette took the start and had to take immediate evasive action when a Ferrari spun in front of the entire field. This dropped him to 13th but he steadily worked his way back up during the opening stint, pitting from eighth place to hand over to Darren.
“We lost a bit of time in the pit stop so I pushed pretty hard for four laps and then the safety car came out,” said Darren. “We were on the back of the train during the safety car period so at the restart I had what was probably my most exciting laps around Spa ever as I had to race for position but also get through lapped traffic. To say my eyes were on stalks is a huge understatement!”
Darren fought his way up to fourth place before he pitted to hand the Aston over to Jamie but his Aston Martin Racing team-mate soon radioed in to report that he was losing a lot of straight line speed.
Over the course of the next four hours the car had to pit many times while the team worked to diagnose the problem and as the race ran into the night the team made the decision to stop.
“I believe we had the performance to secure a top 10 finish, if not a top six,” said Darren. “It’s a shame we had the problems so early on.
“It has been a real privilege to driver with Jamie and Bertrand this weekend and hope it’s something that I can do again in the future.”