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TURNER: Spa Debrief

AMR’s Darren Turner checks into Sportscar365 following FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa…

Photo: Drew Gibson/AMR

Photo: Drew Gibson/AMR

Between Silverstone and Spa we got a Balance of Performance break, which was a step in the right direction but we still need to find a bit more pace.

On the practice day at Spa, we had the normal ‘four seasons in a day’ weather and, unlike the rest of the pit lane, we were pleased to see it as our pace is good in those conditions.

The weather helped us in qualifying. We took second place but we were unlucky not to grab pole; the only reason we didn’t was because of traffic.

It’s a strange thing to say but unfortunately it was a lovely day on race day. It stayed dry throughout the race and it was obvious after 10 laps that we didn’t have the pace to keep up with the Ferrari.

We pushed as hard as possible and ran a very aggressive strategy; double stinting the tires when we could and single-stinting when we needed the performance. However with our fuel capacity as it is we needed a splash and dash and that put paid to a podium finish, putting us in fourth place.

Something different at Spa was the fact that everyone seemed to have a trouble-free race. There was no safety car, no full course yellows, and no major dramas at all.

Normally a giant curveball is thrown into the mix during the race but there was nothing this time.

There were fewer LMP2 cars than normal so as a GT driver you are not being passed as often so the possibility of contact is reduced.

The LMP1s are so much faster in a straight line this year so they are past you before anything can happen. There is a lot less tripping over each other in the braking zones as you’re all done and dusted by then.

It was really good to have Bruno (Senna) back in the team at Spa. It’s as if he hasn’t been away! It’s great that we were able to knock off the rust at Spa – as a driving squad, not knocking the rust off Bruno! – to make sure that we are tight-knit team when we get to Le Mans.

Next up for us is the Le Mans test and it will be interesting to see how everyone is on the low downforce set up. Maybe our dry pace will be better in low downforce trim but we won’t know until the end of the test day where we are.

It’s the same for everyone though. We all have to go through the development laps to get the cars dialed in for race week. That’s when we’ll know what we need to do to fine tune the car to pull out that last little bit of performance before Le Mans.

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