10 Years of Aston Martin Racing: Darren Turner Q&A

This weekend Aston Martin Racing are celebrating their 10th birthday, and Darren Turner has been with them for the whole decade. We asked him about 2013, 2014 and what Aston means to him:

Darren Turner

SCV - You came agonisingly close to becoming world champion last year, are you disappointed that you missed out?

DT - The whole year was going very well, we were leading the championship into the last race in Bahrain and even though we hardly ever have car failures it just happened that it was in the last race of the championship. The guys had worked so hard all year to put us in a strong position and it was one small element on the car that cost us the race. It was disappointing but as ever you go away, work harder, make changes and hopefully come back with a stronger package.

SCV - Winning last year would’ve meant that Aston Martin got some silverware in their Anniversary year, with the race team’s decade coming up this year do you feel like you’ve got a second chance?

DT - The 100 year celebration would've been an amazing time to win the championship, but look at what we achieved with race wins and always being at the front of the field. You have to remember that we're fighting the big guys at Ferrari and Porsche, so the fact that we're there anyway and able to take the challenge to them is big kudos to the team. If we can do it in the tenth year of the team it'll be another fantastic achievement for us.

SCV - You mentioned being up against the ‘big guys’, do you see yourselves as underdogs?

DT - I don’t know about being underdogs but we're always punching above our weight; we're not a team with the most funding and we're only small, but we do an amazing job with what we have and what's available. From that side maybe we are underdogs but it never feels like that on the track; we're there to be equals and do a better job than everyone else.

SCV - How has the team changed in ten years?

DT - I think motorsport's changed and the team's changed to fit in with that. When we started it was just the works cars and then it became customer cars, and now it's looking after those customers as well. Over the years GT3 has become very stable, that's a very important part of the business of Aston Martin Racing but the core element, the works team, is still there and at the pinnacle of the sport in Le Mans and now the WEC.

SCV - Do you still get the Aston thrill after 10 years?

DT - Yeah, it becomes even more special. If you're in a team with a manufacturer for a year or two you think 'yeah it's a good team and a good manufacturer but...' I feel that this is my career. I’ve been racing for 20 years but the last ten have all been with Aston Martin, and maybe my career will finish here. I feel a very integral part and a part of the family; you're with these guys so much of the year that they're not just people you do business with, we're all living this together. I feel very honoured to have had that experience; there's people like Oli Gavin and Jan Magnussen with Corvette and Bruni with Ferrari, there are few of us lucky enough to be with a manufacturer long enough to have that experience.

SCV - 2014 is a big year for the WEC, what do you think you can achieve?

DT - The boss man says we need to be there and win the championship, and I believe we're gonna have a package that's capable of it but until we're out on the track we won't know where we are compared to the competition. Going on what we did last year and the improvements we made, we should be competitive. The others may have made massive gains over the winter or they may have made small gains like we have, but this first weekend is really gonna show us where we are and what we need to do for the rest of the season.

Darren will start tomorrow's 6 Hours of Silverstone from 18th on the grid; follow his progress on @speedchillsview and on www.fiawec.com