Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing are proud to sponsor Darren Turner who races for the Aston Martin Racing team. In this blog Darren introduces us to the upcoming FIA World Endurance Championship "superseason" and the car he will be racing:
I’m Darren Turner, one of the six ‘works’ drivers at Aston Martin Racing, competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship. This is the biggest and highest-level championship for GT endurance racing and it includes the most famous endurance race of them all, the Le Mans 24 Hours.
I’ve been fortunate to have been sponsored by Close Brothers (first Leasing and now Asset Finance) for over a decade now and it has been a great adventure, particularly when the guys come along to give us extra support at Le Mans. They’ve certainly been a lucky charm for me as I have had three Le Mans wins in that time.
Over the course of this year I’m going to drop you a line to let you know what is going on in the world of Aston Martin Racing.
Last year was pretty special. It was the last year of competition for the old Aston Martin Vantage GTE and we only went and won Le Mans! That race had eluded us for a long time with that particular car but after 24 hours of hard racing and a quite unbelievable final couple of laps we crossed the line as winners.
What a send-off for the old girl!
This year’s championship is a “superseason” that runs until June 2019 and includes two Le Mans 24 Hours. After Spa we head to France for Le Mans 2018 then we have rounds in the UK at Silverstone, before flying off to Japan and China. We pick up the season again in March next year at Sebring in Florida, then it’s Spa again, then the second Le Mans.
For a challenge like this, fighting against the world’s best GT manufacturers, you need an exceptional car.
Since last summer we’ve been busy testing the brand new Vantage GTE in preparation for the new season which gets underway at Spa in Belgium on May 5th.
This is a completely new car; every single component is new. Testing has gone well from the start and we feel that we have ourselves a championship challenger. We’ve put the work in with this car and learned a lot along the way and we should be competitive when we get to Spa. Our target is to finish on the podium there but we must never forget that everyone else has been working hard over the winter too so there will be stiff competition from Ford, Ferrari, Porsche and the new BMW.
As a team we’re looking forward to the challenge and it’s always a bonus to be in the most beautiful car on the grid. This is an exciting period for Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing and I’m glad you are coming along for the ride!