Young Driver AMR: Darren Turner Silverstone report

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Darren Turner experienced the full rollercoaster ride of motorsport’s highs and lows yesterday when he and Tomas Enge won the RAC Tourist Trophy at Silverstone, only to have it taken away on a technical infringement a few hours later.

The Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DBR9 crossed the line as the winner at the end of yesterday’s FIA GT1 World Championship race, after a dominant drive from Darren and Tomas from fourth place on the grid. The duo had already had their fair share of drama prior to the race and unfortunately there was more to come even after the chequered flag had fallen.

Darren’s weekend got off to a great start on Saturday morning when he put the No.7 Aston Martin on pole position for the qualifying race. He handed the DBR9 over to Tomas Enge for the start of Saturday’s race, the results of which define the grid for the points-scoring championship race on Sunday.

Enge was unstoppable when the race got underway and his trouble-free stint ended just before he pitted to hand over to Darren. The Czech driver crossed the white line at the pit entry a little early and by the time he had pitted and handed over to Darren, the car received a drive-through penalty. Darren was told to take the penalty but didn’t know what Tomas had done. And he did exactly the same thing on his way into the pits!

In both drivers’ defence they did what they have done at Silverstone for the last 15 years but this time it was wrong. Darren got a stop-go penalty for the second offence and rejoined the race down in seventh place. With just 12 minutes remaining Darren had banged in the fastest lap of the race as he set off in pursuit of sixth place. In a thrilling display he picked off sixth, then fifth, then just three minutes before the chequered flag fell he took fourth place, setting up a good grid position for Sunday’s big race.

The rest is now history. Fourth place on the grid became first place in the race. The glory only lasted for a few hours though as the No.7 Aston Martin was excluded from the results because the plank on the bottom of the car had worn too thin.

“Sport can be cruel sometimes,” said Darren. “We did a great job over the weekend; despite picking up the penalties on Saturday we turned it around for Sunday. Winning the Tourist Trophy on the road still means a lot. It was a great effort by the team in the pits and Tomas and I played our part on the circuit. I really enjoyed being a Tourist Trophy winner for a few hours!”

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