Darren Turner: Hungaroring race report

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Darren Turner raced at the Hungaroring in Budapest for the first time in his career this weekend and bagged a sixth place finish in the JMW Motorsport Aston Martin, along with his Le Mans Series team-mate Rob Bell. Back on GT2 duty after his recent foray into GT3, Turner was ultimately disappointed with the result, which could have been a lot better if it hadn't been for a problem in the early stages.

"It was an interesting weekend for me," commented Darren. "I really like the Hungaroring; much more than I expected to. There is a good mixture of corners and you are on the go all the time so it's a real challenge."

It was Darren's turn to qualify this weekend and he duly slotted the Aston Martin into fifth place on the grid, behind a group of Ferrari 430s but ahead of all the Porsches.

The race start was also down to Darren and he had a blinding first lap, making light work of two of the cars ahead of him, even though one of them was in the GT1 class.

"It was imperative that I got past the Saleen as it is quick on the straights but slows us up through the corners," he explained. "I passed him and another GT2 car and by lap two everything was looking rosy. Unfortunately we then started to rapidly drop off the pace."

The drop off came as a big surprise to the team as the performance had been strong in race trim throughout the previous sessions. The problem was focused on the front tyres and Darren eventually had to pit just two-thirds into his stint as by that point they were four seconds off the pace.

"I had no choice other than to come in," he said. "Whatever the problem was it didn't happen again for the remainder of the race so we need to investigate what happened with that set of tyres and make sure it doesn't happen again. The big problem for us from that point on was that, even though we were fully on the pace, our stops were out of sync. We then lost even more time during a safety car period so all in all we did well to take sixth."

"It was a hard race as the heat was intense, even after it had gone dark," he continued. "The car ran like clockwork though and the issues we had at Portimao have all been ironed out. We need to address the tyre issue and I think we can go into the final round at Silverstone with every reason to expect a top result."
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