Plenty of boys and girls grow up dreaming of a career in motorsport. It’s easy to see why: the appeal of a life spent driving fast cars, drinking champagne (that’s after and not before, let’s be clear) and travelling all over the world needs no explaining in this region of the internet.
But the reality is that racing cars is a demanding job. Especially if you’re expected to perform for hours at a time whilst hunting down every tenth of a second that can physically be squeezed out of the track.
That is the raison d’être of an endurance driver. With stints of three hours or more, the lap time you set while fresh and focussed in the first minute is the benchmark for when you’re sweaty and fatigued in the last.
Anyone who has done even half an hour of karting in a stuffy, unventilated warehouse will understand just how tough a challenge that is.
But what exactly do you have to do to join this elite group of competitors? Being rich, or talented, or both certainly helps, but for those who are neither gifted nor loaded, the long path of studious learning does at least remain.
To get some pointers, TG spoke to racing veteran Darren Turner, now entering his twelfth year as a works driver for Aston Martin Racing. Having tasted success at Le Mans and beyond, he understands better than most the sacrifices that have to be made en route to motorsport glory.
So what does it take to mix it with the best? Let’s find out…