Young Driver AMR: Darren Turner Brno race report

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Darren Turner and Tomas Enge are now firmly on the FIA GT1 World Championship points table after two incredible runs to second in both of this weekend’s races at Brno in the Czech Republic.

During Saturday morning’s qualifying hour Darren and Tomas were running well inside the top four in each of the three sessions. Tomas nailed third place on the grid, behind two Maserati MC12s that seemed to be very well suited to the Brno track.

Darren started the qualifying race from third, dropping a place at the start to his good friend Peter Dumbreck in the Nissan GT-R. He and Dumbreck ran bumper-to-bumper throughout the first stint, providing some thrillingly close racing for the viewers.

“I had a good run on the second-placed Maserati up the inside at the start,” said Darren. “But all the action was on the outside and Peter made up some places. I was happy to tuck in there and just have a solid run before handing it over for the pit stops. I know our guys do a fantastic job in the pits every time so we could pass them there.”

His plan paid off and Tomas emerged in second place after the pit-stops and took it all the way to flag, earning his and Darren’s first championship points and a front row grid slot for today’s championship race.

The start of today’s race didn’t go quite to plan when some confusion caused Enge to drop right back to 16th place on the first lap. He immediately got stuck into his comeback drive and was up to 10th by the time the pit stop window opened and this is where it all turned around.

The Safety Car was out on track as the pits opened so all but six of the GT1 cars dived into the pit lane to do their driver change. Darren jumped in and, with the Young Driver AMR team being quick on their toes in the pits, he rejoined the race in second place!

The race order was now the Ford GT of Thomas Mutsch, Darren’s Aston Martin and Peter Dumbreck’s Nissan GT-R. In a remarkable demonstration of how evenly-matched these cars are, those three never had more than a second between them until the chequered flag fell at the end of the race.

“My heart is still pumping hard after being in that Ford-Nissan sandwich!” said Darren as he arrived at the post-race press conference. “Thomas made no mistakes in front of me and it was hard to attack him as I couldn’t risk making a mistake myself with Peter right behind me. Two podiums in one weekend is a great result and it feels very good to finally get some points on board. The car was lovely in the race and I’m delighted that the Young Driver AMR comeback has begun.”

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