As the chequered flag came down on another glorious Goodwood Revival last night, Darren Turner was named ‘Rolex Driver of the Meeting’ for his efforts throughout a weekend of high-octane and highly-entertaining racing.
Presented by the Duke of Richmond, Darren received a specially-engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 in recognition of “his display of impeccable driving in three races over the course of the weekend”.
“It is incredibly special to win a Rolex watch,” said Turner. “I’ve raced at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and seen the winners there awarded a Rolex, as well as on the top step of the podium at Le Mans. For any driver to receive this honour at a race weekend is unforgettable. I love coming to Goodwood, it’s an amazing weekend and a privilege to be a part of, thank you to everyone involved.”
Turner kicked off the race weekend with a brilliant drive in a 1950 Aston Martin DB2 in the Fordwater Trophy. That is, once he took the handbrake off!
“I’ve never driven a race car with a handbrake so I qualified with the handbrake on,” he explained. “I could smell something bad but the car seemed fine. Who knows, if I’d taken the brake off we could have been on pole but I was happy with second on the grid.”
After an overnight dash to Bournemouth to source some rear brakes for the DB2, the team had the car all ready to go on Saturday morning. The pole man, Sam Tordoff, didn’t get away at the start but a Ferrari went through to take the lead. Turner held on in the DB2 and took the lead then spent the remainder of the race keeping an eye on Tordoff’s comeback drive on the giant TV screens around the circuit. He didn’t need to worry though and crossed the line in first place.
The fastest race of the Revival weekend is the Whitsun Trophy. Turner made his debut in this event this year, driving a 1965 Hamill-Chevrolet SR3, which he saw for the first time just before qualifying.
“I used qualifying to get my head around the car,” he said. “You have to respect cars that are capable of doing 170mph down to Woodcote but it did me proud and I qualified third, on the front row.”
The race was a joy to watch, with Turner and Rob Huff fighting each other hard. Neither of them could catch the eventual winner but Turner came out on top of his battle, finishing in second place, his second podium of the weekend.
All that remained was the RAC TT Celebration race, which boasted a grid worth over £100million, and a very competitive field of drivers who wanted to win but also avoid contact at all costs!
“The competition gets stronger every year in the TT,” said Turner. “We had a few niggles and then the car wouldn’t start so everyone set off on the green flag without me. I got a bump start but this meant I would start the race from the back.”
He started in 30thposition but finished his run in 13thbefore handing over an intact AC Cobra to co-driver and owner Rory Henderson.
The 2018 Goodwood Revival also provided Turner with a new experience: that of being a ‘Racing Dad’. Darren’s daughter, Lyla, made her competitive debut in the Settrington Cup, a joyful pedal car race for children.
“Lyla loved every second of the Settrington Cup, said Turner. “My wife Katie and I took turns being her team manager and we really enjoyed the whole experience. They have proper Scrutineering and a Drivers Briefing before the race and then it is so much fun to watch them all in the pedal cars. Seeing Lyla waving to the crowds was amazing, definitely the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen at a race meeting.
“I say this every year but the Goodwood Revival is the best event of the year. Amazing cars, incredible atmosphere and thrilling racing. It’s a feel-good event that lets us all escape to a very special place for one weekend every year.”