Despite spending much of Sunday’s British GT race defending hard and trying to hit an apex, Darren Turner was delighted with a podium finish.
Along with Andrew Howard, Turner piloted the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin to fourth place at Rockingham but just a few hours later was promoted when the TF Sport car received a 30-second post-race penalty.
Turner said: “We didn’t have great pace in the wet for qualifying so the race was all about damage limitation for us.
“We started eighth and Andrew did a great job, working his way up the rankings while others were having issues. He kept his head, gained a few places, lost a couple of places, but when the pit stops all shook out he pitted from fifth.”
With other teams serving extra time in the pits as a result of success penalties, Turner joined the race in third position but soon found himself struggling for grip and on the defensive.
“I had a real issue with the front end of the car and after my first run behind the safety car I just couldn’t get back up to full speed quick enough,” he explained.
“It took a few laps to get the performance back and when that happens it’s a real struggle to keep anyone behind you.”
Turner’s closing laps of the two-hour race included a ten-lap battle with Callum Macleod’s Bentley and unfortunately on the penultimate lap Turner ran wide at turn four, which meant the Bentley had the edge on the Aston Martin in the run up to turn five. The Bentley slipped past as Turner battled to get his front end turned in.
“After qualifying, if you’d said we would finish fourth on the track then that would have been a very good result,” said Turner.
“I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to defend up until the flag but we were saved by the post-race penalty.”