Darren Turner defends Aston Martin's AMR-One LMP1 car

Darren Turner has defended Aston Martin's short-lived AMR-One LMP1 project, saying it could have been a competitive machine with more development

Darren Turner defends Aston Martin's AMR-One LMP1 car

The car was introduced for the start of the 2011 season but suffered an ignoble debut at the 6 Hours of Castellet in April and then a disastrous Le Mans, leading to the project being halted.

Turner labelled it as a 'blip' on an otherwise successful Aston Martin Racing record, and said that the lack of private testing added to the criticism.

"The car looked good and had promise," he said on the AUTOSPORT International stage. "It was basically early in its development.

"Most big teams have the opportunity to do testing for a year behind closed doors, while still racing a previous model. We had to do everything in public, and that was effectively the problem - it was a test programme that everyone got to see.

"Over the years though Aston Martin have always punched well above their weight - it's definitely a David vs Goliath situation. The Lola-Aston Martin [B09/60] was the fastest petrol car and very competitive in 2009 and 2010.

"The AMR-One was a new car in every way, and we just needed some time to go testing. If you look at everything that has been achieved since its formation in 2004, overall [Aston Martin Racing] has been a fantastic and successful programme, with just one blip."

Turner also confirmed that he will compete in the newly-created World Endurance Championship in 2012 with Aston's GT programme, and that he was hoping to secure a Le Mans entry.

"The programme at the moment is the WEC, and hopefully a Le Mans entry," he said. "We've done a little testing, and then it's just a case of getting our heads down and making sure we are competitive.

"There's also talk of continuing in GT1, but AMR will dictate what I do and everyone is waiting to see what happens with the championship. It's been very strong in the last two years and we came away second in the championship last year, so hopefully it continues that way."

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