This year saw the 84th running of the Le Mans Endurance Race in France, the world’s toughest endurance race which sees Manufacturers battle it out for supremacy at the 13.6km long Circuit de la Sarthe.
Extreme weather conditions meant the race had to start from behind the safety car for the first time in LM24’s 84-race history.
“The start was interesting but it was the right decision as on the back straight there was a lot of water hanging in the air,” said Turner. “If we had done a normal start I’m sure there would have been an incident once 60 cars hit the Mulsanne in a ball of spray so the safety car would have had to come out anyway.”
After an hour behind the safety car the race director concluded that conditions had improved and the race was able to begin
“With the sun coming out we were able to switch to slicks quite quickly,” Turner explained. “What we lost in those first few laps we gained back by being one of the first GTE Pro cars to get onto slicks. We then got straight into our programme of double stinting, going as fast as we could but without risking the car.”
The #95 Aston Martin had a faultless run into and right through the night with a 4th place finish looking likely, however a puncture in the 20th hour meant the car had to forfeit the position, with the car eventually finishing 5th.
“We were very encouraged by the fact that both of our pro class cars ran reliably,” he said. “Our pace was as good as we could get so fifth and sixth in class was a good result for the team.
“We couldn’t do anything about the performance of the turbo competitors and hopefully going forward in the championship there will be some adjustment in the playing field. We were happy with our performance but from a sporting side it was a two-tier class so that was disappointing. From the team side though the entire crew worked incredibly hard all weekend, gave us a great car and a tremendous performance in the pits. They were outstanding.”
The Le Mans result gives Aston Martin Racing a nine-point lead in the FIA World Endurance Championship Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers. The WEC battle resumes at the Nürburgring on 24 July.