DARREN Turner took the chequered flag at his first Dubai 24 Hours on Saturday in third place overall after a great Dubai race debut for the Craft Racing AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
The Chacombe racer’s regular team-mate, Stefan Mucke, also joined the team for this race and it was the German who qualified the Aston Martin in third place while Turner was tasked with taking the start.
“Everyone was pushing hard from the word go but I decided to play it cool and understand the tyre situation,” said Turner.
“As the stint went on the fast guys got slower and we got faster so it was good close racing. I had a tricky moment with a yellow flag when I had a run on the BMW in front of me. I dived through on the inside and also managed to pass the Mercedes to take the lead but I looked around for the flags and realised there were yellows so I backed out of it sharpish!”
The car lost time at the end of Turner’s stint when a ‘Code 60’ was called just after he passed the pit lane entry. That meant he had to complete a full lap at 60kmh before he could pit and he lost two laps to the leaders in the process.
The Craft Racing crew had a steady run through the night in Dubai and by morning the car was hovering around eighth place. The task for today was to pick their way back up the order and the drivers duly delivered by taking the Aston Martin right up to third place for the finish.
“The car held up brilliantly throughout the 24 hours. It’s a hostile environment for a race car what with all the sand. The team, although new to 24 hour racing, didn’t miss a beat and kept the car running night and day.”