Round two of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship resulted in a fourth place finish for Aston Martin Racing driver Darren Turner today. Competing in the 6 Hours of Spa, Darren and his regular team-mate, Stefan Mucke, were joined by Bruno Senna who will also race the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE in next month’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
The race meeting got off to a good start when Darren and Stefan qualified the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE in second place on the grid, a much-improved position compared to the last round at Silverstone.
“The track was drying but everyone was still on wets when we went out,” explained Darren. “The conditions played into our hands and we got the best out of our tyres by doing a cool down lap between each run. Stefan went out first and did a great job to get us to third and with neither of us making a mistake we took second place. I’m sure without traffic we could have got pole but it was good to get a front row starting position.”
Clear skies over Spa on race day meant that the Aston Martin crew would have a tough six-hour race ahead of them. The situation required a clever strategy.
“It was always evident that we would struggle if the track was dry,” said Darren. We knew the only way we could grab a result was by double stinting our tyres. Stefan started, double stinting his tyres, before handing over to Bruno who did the same.
As the ambient temperature dropped for Darren’s run the No.97 Vantage GTE was fitted with a new set of soft tyres. With softer rubber and the Aston’s fuel capacity restrictions, Darren had to do a ‘splash and dash’ which prevented him from challenging for the podium, crossing the line in fourth place.
“Overall we’re pleased with the result,” he said. “We would have preferred some of the usual Spa weather as that would have levelled the playing field but we took some good points despite that.
“It was good to have Bruno back in the team,” he continued. “He’s a great team player and it’ll be great to have him with us at Le Mans.”