Darren Turner: Weighty issues at Paul Ricard

Monday, July 05, 2010

Young Driver AMR
Darren Turner had two tough races at Paul Ricard this weekend as his Aston Martin DBR9 felt the weight of 30kg of success ballast on top of an additional 30kg of Balance of Performance weight. He and his team-mate, Tomas Enge, managed to take a top ten finish in Saturday's FIA GT1 World Championship qualifying race but today's main race was a difficult one, ending in 16th place.

Darren was the nominated first driver this weekend so he took to the track for the first qualifying session. The extra 60kg of weight really showed itself at this point and he missed the cut by a few thousandths of a second, taking 17th place on the grid for the qualifying race.

"That was the best we could have done," he said. "It's disappointing that after fighting at the front at Brno we are bringing up the rear here. The other Young Driver car made it through but they have half the ballast we have so 17th was our limit."

Tomas Enge started the qualifying race and had a good run before handing the No.7 Aston Martin DBR9 over to Darren for the run to the flag. Between them they made up a few places, despite battling with understeer, and finished in a creditable 10th place.

This result gave the duo a better starting position for the main championship race today so Darren lined up on the fifth row of the grid, ready for the off.

"As I was sat on the grid I looked around and realised that most of the cars were on new tyres," he said. "Mine were at least 17 laps old so I knew it was going to be tough but we were saving the new rubber for Tomas as he would have a clearer track during his stint. Unfortunately we had other issues as on the formation lap the power steering failed so I had to pit as the race began for a new ECU. This solved the problem but I was half a lap down by that point which made for a lonely race for me."

Enge managed to make up a few more places during his run and the final result was 16th for the No.7 Aston Martin DBR9.

"That was a difficult weekend," said Darren. "Hopefully by the time we get to Spa later this month the Balance of Performance will be a bit more realistic."
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