Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke made it five podiums in a row for the Aston Martin Vantage GTE in Japan today by taking third place in round seven of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The six hour race at Fuji Speedway was a hard one for the Aston Martin Racing team, who now have just a one point advantage over the Felbermayr Porsche in the battle for the GTE Pro championship runner up spot.
“Stefan qualified in third place, which was a good effort considering our pace in practice,” explained Darren. “Unfortunately he then got a three place grid penalty for taking too much kerb on his fastest lap. He got a good start though and had passed the GTE Am cars on lap one, coming around in fourth place.”
After his initial blast Stefan had to go into fuel saving mode after 10 laps. He held onto fourth place but had dropped back a little from the leaders by the time he handed over to Darren.
Darren had to begin his run in fuel saving mode but once it became apparent that strategy wasn’t going to work he was let off his leash and went on the attack.
“I had good pace for the remainder of my stint,” he said. “I managed to pass the No.71 Ferrari for third place on the track and by the time the pit stops shook out I was in second place when I came in.”
During the next stint Stefan was going well and maintaining position but was rather rudely spun around by the No.1 Audi at turn ten. This lost him ten seconds but fortunately the car didn’t sustain any damage.
“I jumped in for a single stint but the team changed the strategy to me doing the last two and a bit stints in an effort to maintain third place and have half a chance of snatching second place from the No.51 Ferrari,” said Darren after the race. “I got within ten seconds of it but in the end we dropped back to around 20 seconds off.
“It has been an up and down weekend,” he continued. “Third place looked like the best we could get and despite a few on track incidents we still managed to get on the podium. We’re only one point ahead of the Porsche now though so that’s going to make for an interesting Shanghai!”