Darren Turner will continue his long-term association with Aston Martin this year, racing the Aston Martin Vantage GTE in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The series includes the Le Mans 24 Hours, where Darren took two consecutive class wins for Aston Martin in 2007 and 2008.
The new Vantage GTE was successfully developed during the 2012 WEC season, which saw Darren and his regular team mate Stefan Mucke take multiple podiums before a breakthrough victory in Shanghai. In 2013 the Vantage GTE is back, fully-upgraded and ready for its assault on the GTE Pro title. With sights set on winning the WEC title and another victory at Le Mans this is an important season for Turner and the Aston Martin Racing team.
Turner said: “We finished off 2012 in the best way possible and it’ll be great if we can carry that positive momentum into the start of the new season. It’s always very hard to know what the other teams’ pace will be but I know the team has been working extremely hard over the winter and our new 2013 car is a great step forward. We need to see if that is enough to keep us at the sharp end but I do have a good feeling about this car.”
The GTE Pro class will see two Aston Martins go head-to-head with a pair of Porsches and two Ferrari 458s. When they get to Le Mans they will be joined by old adversaries, Corvette, and a new challenger in the form of the SRT Vipers.
“Last year was the first year of WEC and it was very exciting,” said Turner. “I can only imagine it will be even better this year. It’s great that we have strong competition both in WEC but also with the extra cars at Le Mans.”
Often the toughest competition comes from within your own team and as Darren and Stefan race the No.97 car throughout the full WEC campaign, they will be competing against the identical No.99 Vantage GTE in the Pro Class, which will be raced by Bruno Senna and Fred Makowiecki.
For Spa and Le Mans the No.97 line up with be strengthened with the addition of Peter Dumbreck. The popular Scottish racer is an old friend of Darren’s but so far they have only raced against each other.
Turner said: “I’m really pleased with the line up. As ever I enjoy teaming up with Stefan as it’s good to have a team mate who you trust and respect. When we get to Spa and Le Mans we team up with Peter, which will be a funny experience as we’ve been good friends for nearly 20 years now and usually raced against each other but now he’s on my side!”
Before the WEC season begins at Silverstone in April, Darren and Stefan will warm up with the Sebring 12 Hours, where they will be joined by Bruno Senna.
“We start at Sebring, which is always a tough race,” said Turner. “That makes it the perfect warm up before the start of WEC. I also get the chance to share the car with Bruno at this race, which I am really looking forward to.”
The Sebring 12 Hours takes place on March 16th and the FIA World Endurance Championship gets underway at Silverstone on April 14th.