Young Driver AMR : Darren Turner Q&A

Sunday, March 07, 2010

This is the fourth FIA World Championship. Is there room for another?
Definitely. Single-seater racing has Formula One, rallying has World Rally and touring cars have the WTCC so it’s fitting that sportscar racing should have its own World Championship. There are lots of manufacturers who are not in F1 but who want to showcase their products to a global audience. There are also a lot of professional drivers who specialise in sportscars and want to fight for meaningful titles so this is a great opportunity. It has been a long time coming and, although it’s probably not the best time to launch something new, it’s happening and everyone involved is looking forward to getting started.

You’re driving the Aston Martin DBR9, the car you took two class wins at Le Mans in. Is it the same car?
It’s still the DBR9 but it has been adapted to fit the 2010 GT1 regulations. We now have a plank under the car, a smaller aero package all around and more weight. All of this could have been detrimental to the performance and balance of the car but although we have lost lap time, which was the whole point, we haven’t lost the general character of the DBR9. It is still a fantastic car to drive.

Do you like the format of the race weekends with the two one-hour races, or do you prefer the endurance events?
The one-hour races will make it more aggressive. It won’t be a case of biding your time and letting the race come to you as is often the way in the endurance events. It will be pretty fraught on the track. Racing is racing though; it doesn’t matter how long the race is, as long as you are at the front. I like the fact there is just the one mandatory pit-stop and I think the format will be good for spectators as the races will be easy to follow.

What about the tracks? Are any of them new to you?
I know all the European tracks on the calendar very well and I’m having a bit of a sneak preview of Abu Dhabi right now as I am here for a PR event. The last three: Durban, Interlagos and San Luis, are all new to me but learning new tracks is often half the fun of GT racing so I’m looking forward to seeing those.

Do you think you can win the Championship?
I think we have as good a chance as anyone. Until the final Balance of Performance is set it’s hard to know where we are in relation to the other cars. What I can say is that I’m very pleased to be driving alongside Tomas Enge again as that makes us one of the strongest driver pairings. From a team point of view we have had a few tests with the Young Driver AMR Team now and I think there is huge potential there. There is a really good team spirit already and we all want this to be a success. We have all the ingredients we need for a great season.
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