Tuesday 25th APRIL 2000



Matt Turner scored a highly impressive fifth place finish in the Autobytel Lotus Elise Championship at Donington Park, UK after a fighting performance over the 21 laps. The 26-year-old Michigan born American had been working hard in testing in the week running up to the event and added, "We found a good set-up that worked really well in qualifying and I'm confident it will stand us in good stead for the remainder of the season."

After an excellent qualifying session, the ambitious Corus hotel backed driver lined up in fourth place on the grid in only his second Elise race. Matt's car was slightly bogged down at the start and he lost a couple of places as the car headed into Redgate corner. "I can't really explain that," said Turner. "I didn't get too much wheelspin so I'm unsure what happened." He ended the first lap in fifth place, battling closely with the front runners. An incident ahead saw one car broadside on the start-finish straight and Turner, with no warning, was forced to take quick avoiding action. Matt soon regained his composure and grabbed an excellent opportunity to dive down the inside of two rivals heading into the tricky first corner, bravely promoting himself to a podium third position slot.

Matt then suffered some unlucky problems explaining, "I had a slight gearbox problem which meant I was losing out when I was changing into fifth gear - one time it caused me to over rev the engine which was also down on horsepower, meaning I dropped back. From then on it was a case of having to nurse the car to the finish. Overall I'm pleased with the result here at Donington and it's really good to get points in the bag at this stage of a long season."

The next round of the Championship is at Thruxton this Bank Holiday weekend and Matt added, "I'm expecting more this weekend!"