Aston Martin Racing driver, Darren Turner, competed in two very different events this weekend. The first took him back in time to the 1960s to race a Mini at Oulton Park, before hitting the road to London for his first fundraiser since recently becoming a patron of the Born Free Foundation.
Darren had a great time racing a Swiftune Mini at the Goodwood Revival in 2011 so when Nick Swift asked him to race at this weekend’s Mini Festival at Oulton Park he jumped at the chance. Competing in the Kent Cams Cup for Pre ’66 Minis, Darren started as he meant to go on by qualifying the No.76 Mini on pole position.
“Nick always turns out quick, competitive cars so it didn't take long to get into the groove of the Mini,” said Darren “ I was really pleased to get the lap time I did and take pole from the regular boys. The only real concern I had was the standing start for race one as there was no opportunity for me to practice it. Nick gave me a few tips though and I managed to hold position into turn one.”
Jonathan Lewis looked like a threat during the first lap but Darren soon got into his rhythm and created a gap. On the final lap Lewis was embroiled in a scrap with the man in third, Ian Curley, and when they ran wide fighting one another Darren was able to have an easy cruise to the line.
He started from pole position for race two, again getting a decent start but this time got out-dragged into turn one by Lewis.
“It was ok though as I got a tow off him going into turn three and was able to pass him for the lead,” said Darren. “I really wanted to push in race two, to see what we could get out of the car. I pushed really hard, all the way to the flag and the little Mini did everything I asked it to.”
Darren won the second race by a massive margin of 21 seconds.
“It’s always great to drive the Mini,” he said. “A big thank you to Nick and the team for letting me get my hands on car. It was a lot of fun!”
TURNER HAS A TIGER IN HIS TANK!
Sunday’s race was a much slower affair for Darren as it was on foot. When he teamed up with the Born Free Foundation earlier this year, Darren pledged to take on a series of charitable events to raise money for the wildlife charity and today’s British 10K London Run was the first of those.
“I know 10K isn’t that far but I haven’t had time to train so today was all about getting to the finish, without stopping, and raising money for Born Free,” he explained. “I’m happy with my performance but the important thing is that we raised a few quid for the charity so thanks to everyone who donated to my little run. Running around London, early on a Sunday morning is great as you get to see so much of the city. It was good to see so many people running for so many different charities.”
Donations are still coming in but Darren’s run has so far raised over £1,300 for the Born Free Foundation.
Credit: Thanks to @CarLovingGirl for the Mini photo!