Former British Touring Car Championship driver and GT ace Darren Turner has signed with the Young Drivers Aston Martin Racing for the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship.
Turner, who won successive Le Mans titles with Aston Martin, has been reunited with the car that took him to those titles – the Aston Martin DBR9. With Aston Martin Racing focusing their efforts towards the new LMP1 Regulations, Darren has the opportunity to return to GT racing.
Turner, who won 5 races while he competed in the BTCC, said this about entering the in the DBR9: “I'm really excited to be doing the full FIA GT1 World Championship, Not only because we will be visiting some fantastic circuits but also because the level of competition will make it an intense and enjoyable season. I'm looking forward to working with the Young Driver AMR team. After visiting the team's base in Paderborn (Germany) last week I can see that they have the infrastructure and resources to achieve great success.”
Darren was the driver that gave the car its first run, back in 2004, so it's fitting that he is back to drive the car again in the inaugural FIA GT1 World Championship. Darren said about this: “This is the most exciting part for me, to come all the way from the first shakedown to two Le Mans victories and now this, is very special. I drove the car briefly last week and even after I got home I was still buzzing from it. Just hearing the wail of the V12 again brought it all back to me. This is going to be great!”
Stefan MÃ¼cke has also signed up to drive for the Young Drivers Aston Martin Racing team in the FIA GT1 World Championship. The 28 year old from Berlin is going into his third year as a works Aston Martin racer. Stefan had his greatest 9success in 2009 when he won the Le Mans Series (LMS). The former DTM driver will be partnered by young Danish driver Christoffer Nygaard.
MÃ¼cke joined the FIA GT1 grid in 2007 after 5 years in the DTM with Mercedes, and commented on the deal to sign him to the Young Drivers AMR: “I am really looking forward to the coming season, the challenge and certainly the come back to the GT1 scene”
When his Sport scars career started in 2007, his first win came at the wheel of a Lamborghini. Stefan then went on to add: “Now, this series has become a world championship this will definitely be an exciting series with 24 cars altogether; cars driven by professional drivers only”, said the Berliner. “I am aiming for as many podiums as possible.”
The DBR9 is not a new car to Stefan, as he has raced it before, and he said about this: “Twice I drove an Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 with the 600 hp strong V12 engine with 6 litre cc, once in 2008 at a race in Czech Republic and last year at a test. This car is well-tested with victories at 24 hour Le Mans races in his class”
Stefan had a successful season in the LMP1 class in 2009, with 5 podiums from 5 races, 2 race wins, a second place and a brace of 3rd places. He was also the top German driver in the Championship, and was at the wheel of the best placed Petrol Car in the 24 hour race at Le Mans. Stefan also had success in FIA GT2 with a 3rd place finish at Oschersleben in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
Stefan has had a successful career, 1998 saw him end up as the BMW Formula ADAC Champion and 2001 saw him finish runner up in the International German Formula 3 Championship.
After his spell in DTM, Stefan joined the sports car world, and became the first and only Berlin driver at the 24 Hours of Le Mans who was the fastest rookie and who took the fastest petrol lap on his way to 8th place overall. 2008 also saw Stefan win the Czech Endurance Championship at the wheel of his old DTM-Mercedes.
The FIA GT1 Championship is a 10 event series, and will see the 12 entered teams visit the Middle East, Europe, and South Africa before ending in South America, with the opening event being at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on the 17th April, and the season concludes in Argentina at the San Luis track.