Following a win last time out in Shanghai, Aston Martin Racing’s Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke head into this weekend’s FIA WEC season finale as the new points leaders in GTE-Pro and look to take home the drivers’ title in Bahrain.
The duo, who claimed their third class victory of the season, and second consecutive, have momentum riding on their side, particularly after a disappointing fourth place result for championship rivals Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella in China.
“We had a deficit of 8.5 points to them when we went to Shanghai and we’ve turned that around to 5.5 points, which was a surprise,” Turner told Sportscar365. “I was expecting, even on a really good weekend, just to close the gap. To open up a bit of a lead is really nice.”
With only a 5.5-point lead over the AF Corse duo, a win would give the championship to Turner and Mucke, although just finishing ahead of the No. 51 Ferrari on Saturday would also seal the deal.
“It’s going to be a really high pressured weekend,” Turner added. “We have to go out there with the sort of mentality that we need to win it ourselves. It’s going to be full attack.”
It’s not just the drivers’ championship that’s up for grabs, however, as both Turner and Mucke will be aiming to help claim the teams’ and manufacturers’ titles for the British manufacturer.
AMR currently holds a slim 8.5-point margin over AF Corse, meaning that one of the squad’s Vantage V8 GTE cars will need to finish second if the Italian team takes the class victory.
It’s a little more clear cut in the GTE Manufacturers Championship, with Aston having a 17.5-point advantage over Ferrari, which has two GTE-Pro class wins this season, both with Bruni and Fisichella.
“It was never going to be an easy championship and the driver lineup in all of the cars are very strong,” Turner said. “Everyone’s got so much to play for this weekend.
“We need to make sure we’re at 100 percent throughout the weekend and that’s the only way we’re going to be able to win it.”