• The Curators:
    Darren Turner

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Darren Turner is one of Britain’s most successful racing drivers, associated with a series of impressive achievements. This ranges from winning the 1996 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in the early stages of his career, to his first 24 Hours of Le Mans victory for driving for Aston Martin in 2007. He remains in his role as a high performance development driver for Aston Martin Lagonda today, whilst also competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Aston Martin Racing. Already a double Le Mans winner for Aston Martin Racing,Turner recently enjoyed GTE Pro class victory in the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Where is your perfect destination and why?

That would have to be Dubai. It’s the perfect destination for a long weekend with guaranteed sunshine, great service and overnight flights. It may not be the place to enjoy depths of culture but to relax, it offers everything I need.

What do you love or find the most rewarding in your professional career?

Being part of a team. We travel all over the world together, working towards the same goal. It might be the driver who can cross the finish line as the winner of the race, but we have a whole team of talented people behind us.

Background

One of my only regrets in life is that I haven’t learnt a second language. I’d like to learn Spanish. One day…

If you had to choose one culture or nation, which one do you espouse or admire?

Without a doubt, Japan. It’s so different from our own culture. I love the food and I love the contrast between the big cities and the countryside. It also strikes me as a very gentle, peaceful country.

What is the best investment you have ever made?

I bought an Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead about six years ago. I was planning on keeping it for a while but then the family came along and I sent it to the Aston Martin Works auction where it turned a nice profit!

What makes a house a home?

The dog. We have a very cute Weimeraner who rules the roost at home. I think we will always have a dog as part of the family.

What is the most memorable gift you have ever received or given?

My wife bought me a lovely watch when our daughter was born. Although I don’t wear a watch on a daily basis, I do have a small collection that I enjoy wearing on special occasions. This particular watch I tend to wear when it’s a family event and I love that it has a special meaning.

What do you consider to be art?

It’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? Sculptures have always appealed to me as I prefer something three-dimensional to a flat canvas.

What do you consider to be luxury?

Time. I never have enough time. In terms of the physical, anything that makes your life easier, or more enjoyable but you don’t necessarily ‘need’ it.

What is your most extravagant purchase and was it worth it?

My MV Augusta motorbike and it was worth every penny. I had it for 10 years but sold it very recently. It used to live in the dining room so I could look at it! That’s my love of sculpture again.

What is your Aston Martin of choice and why?

If I could choose anything that has been made recently it would be the One-77. This goes back to my love of sculpture. Whichever angle you look at this car from – front, back, side, under the bonnet – it’s beautiful.

How would you like to be remembered?

I’m not planning on going anywhere just yet so give me a while to think about this one.

Most thrilling event you have ever attended…

The Isle of Man TT race. I think the only time I have every stepped back from speed in my life is when I went to watch the likes of Michael Dunlop and John McGuinness doing their thing. It blew my mind.

Who do you admire? What and who inspires you?

Anyone who has created a company that employs a lot of people. These are regular people who have built something that other people can earn a living from.

What is your motto?

Drink it while it’s fizzy!

Your dream dinner guests…

Ricky Gervais for comedy value and because he’s such a strong supporter of animal welfare.
Katherine Johnson, the lady who was the brains behind some of the incredible challenges that NASA had in the early years.
Caleb Followill, the lead singer of Kings of Leon. They are my favourite band so I’d love to know more about the Rock & Roll world and if it is all that it should be.
Ross Brawn because he must have some amazing stories to tell from F1.

A skill, language or subject you would love to learn…

One of my only regrets in life is that I haven’t learnt a second language. I’d like to learn Spanish. One day…

Your proudest moment or achievement so far…

20 years ago I won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award. The boost that award gave me provided the opportunity to become a professional racing driver and I have never looked back.

How do you define beauty?

It’s a subjective thing and it’s hard to pin it down. I suppose it’s something that captivates you, whatever it is.

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