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Turner: Aston will be quick

Prodrive's Aston Martin test driver Darren Turner expects to be competitive when the new DBR9 makes its race debut in the Sebring 12 Hours on March 19

Turner: Aston will be quick



Turner, who drove a Prodrive Ferrari 550 at Le Mans in 2004, was joined on the Autosport stage at the Racing Car Show in Birmingham by potential team-mate David Brabham. Both have been heavily involved in the research and development programme of the new Aston.

"It's obviously a development year and you have to take that into account," said Turner. "But we are aiming to fight at the front. We would be crazy not to think in terms of podiums and if we can race for the win then we are going to do it. My gut feeling is that the car is at a reasonable level and that there is something special there and that we should go well.

"There is a lot for the team to learn. This car has an aluminium frame, which has given us something new to work with this year and whereas we had three years understanding and data of the 550, now we've got brand new car to work with.

"But the key to sportscar racing is experience and we have plenty of that. A lot of things that we learnt with the Ferrari we have applied to the Aston."

Brabham is expected to be confirmed as an Aston Martin driver when the full Le Mans assault is unveiled in the spring, and this will be the third famous British marque the Australian has raced for in the 24 hour race, after stints with Jaguar and Bentley.

"Not many people have been in that position where they would have driven for all three great British marques," he said. "I am hoping to make sure that happens because it would be incredible to take a step forward with Aston Martin.

"Prodrive know what they are doing and we have made a lot of progress in a short period of time. I know that's what the British fans will be cheering for.

"We are scheduled to race at Sebring in March and that's a great track to beat the machinery up and see how it all works. The main focus on the programme is to get the car out and get it running."

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