An early retirement from the British GT race at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday meant that Darren Turner and his Beechdean AMR team mate Andrew Howard were unable to show the improvements made to the race pace of the #99 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.
“From the moment we hit the track in Free Practice the car felt good,” said Turner. “We had actually missed out on testing as the other Aston Martin runners had tested at Spa for one or two days prior to this event so we were a little bit on the back foot but happy with how the car felt.”
The team made changes to the set up of the #99 Aston Martin throughout the practice sessions and made progress each time so Turner was confident of a good showing in Qualifying.
“I was actually surprised with the grid position in Qualifying as the car felt faster than that,” he said, after qualifying ninth on aggregate. “My feeling is that we ended up with a car with good race pace but no one-lap magic for Qualifying.”
On Sunday morning both Turner and Howard were feeling positive about the two-hour race ahead of them, which Howard would start after completing a good Warm Up session.
Unfortunately it was all over by Turn 2 on the opening lap! With cars colliding ahead of him at Eau Rouge, Howard did his best to avoid the chaos but made contact with a Lamborghini. The contact damaged the Aston Martin’s radiator but Howard managed to make it back to the pits for repairs.
“The team were amazing and managed to fix the car and get us back out but as this was only a two-hour race we couldn’t do the minimum 70% required to score points so, once we worked all that out, we pulled the car.
“Despite the result I feel that we have made a good step in the right direction with the performance of the car,” said Turner. “We’ve made good progress and we’re feeling positive for the next race at Brands Hatch.”