Darren Turner has backed the launch of the GT1 World Championship, following the series' launch in Paris on Monday. The works Aston Martin driver will campaign an Aston Martin DBR9 in the championship this season, sharing with former grand prix driver Tomas Enge. He believes the introduction of a world-level GT series is the right move and is confident it will be successful.
"Single-seater racing has Formula 1, rallying has the WRC and touring cars have the WTCC, so it's fitting that sports car racing should have its own world championship," said Turner. "There are lots of manufacturers who are not in F1, but who want to showcase their products to a global audience. There are also a lot of professional drivers who specialize in sports cars and want to fight for meaningful titles, so this is a great opportunity.
"It has been a long time coming and, although it's probably not the best time to launch something new, it's happening and everyone involved is looking forward to getting started."
The championship will feature 10 rounds, each with two doubleheader, 60-minute sprint races. Turner says the race format will give fans the best mixture of endurance racing and on-track action.
"The one-hour races will make it more aggressive," he said. "It won't be a case of biding your time and letting the race come to you as is often the way in the endurance events. It will be pretty fraught on the track.
"Racing is racing, though; it doesn't matter how long it is, as long as you are at the front. I like the fact there is just the one mandatory pit stop and I think the format will be good for spectators as the races will be easy to follow."