Darren Turner will race the new Banbury-prepared Aston Martin Vantage GTE in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year, alongside Stefan Mucke and Adrian Fernandez.

The new championship will take the Aston Martin Racing team from Sebring to Spa and then on to the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

After the ‘home’ race at Silverstone in August the championship goes global with races in Brazil, Bahrain, Japan and China.

Turner, of Chacombe, is the longest-standing works driver at Aston Martin Racing and was in fact on the winning team that took the then new and subsequently world-beating Aston Martin DBR9 to Sebring in 2005. The Vantage will race in the GTE Pro class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and Turner, who was on track in the new car just yesterday, is ready for the competition.

He said: “I’m excited about this programme as it’s our opportunity to take Aston Martin to the top of the world of GT racing. The Vantage is a great car; she’s coming along nicely now and we’re ready to take on what we expect will be tough competition.

"The FIA WEC calendar looks good to me, especially as I’ve won in an Aston Martin at half of the tracks: Sebring, Silverstone, Interlagos and of course at Le Mans.

"We are going to Sebring next month with a brand new car but that’s what we did with the DBR9 back in 2005 and we won that race. I’m not promising we can repeat that but we’ll certainly try!”