Aston Martin GT driver’s Darren Turner and Richie Stanaway have taken victory in the inaugural Mexican round of the World Endurance Championship, following an impressive drive from the pair. Saturday’s ‘6 Hours of Mexico’ win means that Darren Turner now tops the championship standings with 86 points.
Neither driver showed any sign of a post summer break hangover during the qualifying session, securing a front row grid position just one tenth of a second behind fellow Aston Martin team mates Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen.
Stanaway took the wheel for the first hour of the race and maintained a steady few second gap behind the #95 Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim. Turner then stepped in for his first stint, going head to head with Sørensen who was now behind the wheel of the #95 car.
“My stint against Marco was good, apart from the traffic,” said Turner. “It can be really frustrating where you catch traffic. Sometimes it goes in your favour and you get a free pass on the straights and other times you can get in a jam and lose time.”
Half way through the race rain began to fall on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Stanaway chose to continue on slicks despite the weather and ultimately pass the #95 car to take the lead.
Having secured the lead for the #97 car, Stanaway switched with Turner who then took over for a double stint to finish the race. Turner was put under pressure from the #51 Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado for much of the final 90 minutes, eventually finishing almost 10 seconds clear of the Ferrari.
“The last hour and half was really stressful and the pace of the competition was really strong,” said Turner. “We had a bit of a buffer at that stage but the team was telling me how many laps I had left to go and what the gap was so I could work out what pace I could go at in order to have a gap at the end. I worked out that we would be alright and I could throttle back a bit and not take any risks and it all worked out perfectly.”
Turner now leads GT driver’s championship standings by 6 points, with his closest rivals being the #95 Aston Martin drivers Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen.
“It’s a great feeling to be leading the championship and hopefully I can keep that momentum until the end of the year,” he said. “It was a fantastic result for everyone in the team and especially for Dunlop to get their first win in GTE Pro with us. This helps hugely with the manufacturer’s championship points too and I think we can go forward for the rest of the flyaway rounds with the confidence that we’re in good shape to take on the title fight”.