Beechdean AMR drivers Andrew Howard and Darren Turner are looking to maintain their form when British GT hosts two more 60-minute sprint races at Snetterton this weekend.
The 2016 European Le Mans Series champions have made a strong start to the season with two podiums from the first three races helping them sit third in the championship.
Double British GT3 champion Howard knows that consistency is key to winning the British GT crown and believes that the same approach to the rest of the season will keep the #99 Aston Martin team firmly in the hunt for another title. “The goal for us now is consistency, so we need regular podium finishes,” he said. “We may struggle against the Lamborghinis and Bentleys if it’s dry, but we have done a lot of miles at Snetterton both racing and testing, so we are prepared.”.
The Beechdean AMR crew won at the Norfolk circuit in 2015; that result remains the last time Howard took an overall British GT win. It also forms part of a sequence that has seen Aston Martin and Lamborghini win seven back-to-back races at Snetterton.
“I’ve always liked Snetterton, and the short, sprint races are particularly good there,” continued Howard. “You have room to be enthusiastic and push on, and there’s enough in the track to make a difference between the drivers. It has a perfect combination of high speed and technical corners, and at our level, the technical corners are tricky for the amateurs so getting those right can make a big difference to the outcome.”
Howard’s co-driver Darren Turner considers Snetterton something of a second home given the amount of testing that Aston Martin Racing’s factory and customer teams conduct there. He’s also eager to maintain Beechdean AMR’s strong start to the season despite having to serve a five-second pitstop success penalty in Race 1.
“We’ve collected decent points in the first two weekends at Oulton Park and Rockingham so now we need to keep that momentum going and get on the podium again,” he said. “Snetterton has always felt like a ‘home’ circuit to me as I lived in Norfolk for a few years. We also test there a lot, so there isn’t much we don’t know about that circuit. It would be great to come away with a podium. The Aston Martin always goes well there, so we are feeling good about the weekend’s prospects.”
Two free practice sessions and qualifying kick off British GT’s third round of the season on Saturday before a pair of 60-minute sprint races take centre stage on Sunday. Both will be streamed live on British GT’s Facebook page and website, but there’s no substitute for actually being there, as Howard explains, “I would go down to the section between The Esses and Bomb Hole where you can see back down the straight,” he added. “That’s where it usually all kicks off, so there is plenty to see!”