An emotional 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans resulted in victory for the Aston Martin Vantage GTE in the GTE Pro class. Factory driver Darren Turner reflected on what became his third Le Mans victory, with the car taking the lead in the final lap.
Turner has become a staple of the 24 Hour race, with the Brit having featured every year since 2003. The result gives him his third win in the top GT class and his first for the current GTE Pro era.
Speaking about his win, Turner said; “The wins in 2007 and 2008 were big wins for the team, particularly the 2007 win as we had come back with the GT1 car and got through some very tricky conditions at the end.”
Of course, Turner was not the only Aston Martin Racing driver, with Daniel Serra and Jonny Adam in their first and second years respectively.
“This is Daniel’s first time at Le Mans and from the moment he hit the track during the Test Day he has been on it,” said Turner. “This is Jonny’s second year so he’s feeling very comfortable and it’s my 15th year so I really should know where I’m going!”
Having led for a large portion of the race, the #97 had dropped behind the #63 Corvette Racing – GM car, but with Adam in the car for the final stage, the Aston fought back, eventually forcing their rivals into a mistake.
“With about an hour to go the team told me it was between us and Corvette and that Corvette would probably have the advantage,” Turner continued. “We followed Corvette in for the final pit stop with a view to giving Jonny the best chance of being on his tail during those final 45 minutes.
“I have to say that Jonny’s stint at the end was probably the best driving I have ever seen.”
“To keep putting the pressure on the Corvette driver, Jordan Taylor, and to keep pushing like that after 23 and a half hours of racing and to finally push him into making a mistake that would cost them the race is impressive. I’ve not seen many guys do that job.”