TURNER MOTORSPORT TAKES DREAM TEAM TO DAYTONA
TMS Team Is Eager To Add To BMW's Illustrious Daytona History
January 25, 2011 (DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, FLORIDA, USA) -- Turner Motorsport will open the 2011 GRAND-AM racing season this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with two comprehensive campaigns as the team competes in both the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge as well as the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona (SPEED, 3:00 PM ET/Saturday) effort brings a veritable 'Dream Team' of pilots together to share the driving duties in the No. 94 NorthWest BMW M3 as Bill Auberlen, Boris Said, and Paul Dalla Lana are joined by Matt Plumb for the GT Class campaign as the team launches its sophomore season in the category with an outstanding group of fast and experienced racers.
Last year saw Turner Motorsport make the step up to GRAND-AM's top Rolex Sports Car Series category. Despite being a "rookie" effort, Turner showed that the same high-quality preparation and organization that the BMW Tuning firm is known for and had proven so successful through the teams over 200 professional race starts were well-served, as the organization made the most of a select schedule of race starts beginning with the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
That Daytona debut saw the team finish the race despite a myriad of racing set backs that only racing on the rough high banks at Daytona can bring. Covering over 2,400 miles (nearly the same distance from Daytona to the team's BMW Tuning shop in Amesbury, Mass and back), the top-ten result provided a strong starting point for the program. The momentum continued to build through the year as the group went on to convert the BMW-powered M6 from a racer to a winner, taking a breakthrough victory at Mid-Ohio and providing a huge highlight as Turner Motorsport brought BMW back to victory lane in Rolex Series competition.
For 2011 Turner Motorsport will once again be targeting a run to victory lane, but fans of the team, which grew directly from the BMW Tuning program that the organization originally built its reputation on, will now have a different machine to root for as the team will deploy a BMW M3 in Rolex Series GT Class competition. Turner Motorsport made the move during the off-season as the team made the most of the opportunity to put the lessons learned in 2010 to good use ahead of the 2011 season.
That hard work provided early promise as the traditional pre-season Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona test delivered some encouraging data from the early laps. Turner Motorsport is optimistic that the new mount will provide not only consistent speed and reliability to make it to the finish, but will also show the pace needed to add to BMW's legacy off success at Daytona.
"Looking back at last year, we felt like we were pretty well prepared for our first-ever 24 and that served us well when we made it to the checkered flag with a top ten the first time out," said team owner Will Turner. "Even though we had a lot of experience in the sport and felt like we had done our homework before last year's 24, there are things you just can't learn until you actually do them. That was certainly the case with the 24 and now we're going to put everything we learned to work last year this weekend."
With a race that opened under rainy conditions before drying out as the field ran at a rapid pace for the duration, the 2010 24 was a stout showing for the debutante team. But looking to the 2011 edition, the squad's goals are even higher.
"Last year we ran a limited schedule, but for 2011 we are fully committed to running every race and we want to be a factor in this championship so starting the year off with big result at Daytona would be a significant step in that direction," said Turner, who expects to grow his GT Class operation to two entries for the remainder of the season. "You simply couldn't ask for a better group of guys to have in your car, and this team is really focused on the 24."
"I'm proud of the way we were able to prepare this car," said Turner. "Getting the chance to go through every single centimeter of it as we built it gave us the chance to make a lot of changes. Countless small changes that hopefully add up when it matters. Everything from the cooling for the drivers to the suspension mounts and the range of changes we can make to the car during the weekend, we've looked at and tried to improve."
The action will kick off with practice and qualifying on Thursday, with the green flag set to wave at 3:30 PM on Saturday afternoon.