TMS BMWs KICK OFF NEW SEASON WITH PODIUM, TOP TEN FINISHES
Following 2006 Championships, Turner Motorsport Starts 2007 On Strong Footing
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (January 30, 2007) -- Turner Motorsport drivers started off the season with typical success in the Grand-Am Cup Koni Challenge race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida this past Friday. In a field numbering over 100 cars, all 3 TMS BMWs finished in the top ten in their respective classes. The SPEED Channel will run a 2-hour re-cap of the race on March 10, 2007 at 8:00pm ET.
In both the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes Turner Motorsport cars were the top BMW finishers: third for Chris Gleason/Bill Auberlen in the #96 Motul Lubricants/H&R Springs BMW M3 and seventh for Adam Burrows/Trevor Hopwood in the #95 B&M Shifters/H&R Springs BMW 330i.
In the GS class Chris Gleason and Bill Auberlen scored a third-place finish from behind the wheel of their Motul Lubricants/H&R Springs BMW M3. Their podium finish is the second in a row at Daytona. After being spun in turn one during the first portion of the race, Gleason fought back up through the field and handed driving duties over to Auberlen. Auberlen's charge brought the #96 M3 up to the front of the field and in contention for the lead but caution periods and the straight-line speed of the Ford Mustangs kept him from retaining the race win at the checkered flag.
Bill Auberlen, #96 Motul Lubroicants/H&R Springs BMW M3: "With the multiple caution periods and the size of the field we knew that this would be a numbers game. It all came down to strategy and when to pit. Our pitwork was top of the line and that kept us at the front of the field. Our StopTech brakes were great, the car ran flawlessly, and I just wish this track wasn't so suited to the pony car."
Will Turner and Don Salama jumped up to the GS class for this year after winning the 2006 Street Tuner championship. Although this was their first race in the faster, more powerful BMW M3, Don Salama qualified the #97 H&R Springs/Borla Exhaust car on the front row. During the race, however, it was the power of the Mustangs again that overcame any advantage they had from qualifying. Still, Turner and Salama scored a top ten finish to kick off the season in a big way.
Don Salama, #97 H&R Springs/Borla Exhaust BMW M3:
"You would never think to say that a BMW M3 was down on power, especially when jumping from the slower ST class, but at this track our car was simply out-gunned. Our one advantage was through the infield where our H&R Springs BMW would just scoot through the corners. We'll battle back at other tracks -- some will go our way and some will go their way. Our entire team made an excellent showing here for this race and we're all looking forward to the rest of the season."
In the Street Tuner class, rookies Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood scored a seventh place finish in the #95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i. As in the GS class, the BMWs were down on power compared to the Acuras that finished in the first five spots. Burrows fell victim to the busy field when he was spun part-way through his driving stint. But he was able to recover very well and the #95 BMW scored its ninth-straight top ten finish (dating back to May, 2006).
Adam Burrows, #95 B&M Shifters/H&R Springs BMW 330i:
"I'm happy that we met our objectives, to finish the race and be in the top ten. All in all, it was definitely a good first outing and we learned a tremendous amount. Many thanks to Turner Motorsport for all their help and great pit work over the weekend. It was clear all weekend that this is a championship-caliber team. The car was well-prepared and we didn't miss a minute of track time all weekend. Trevor did a fantastic job in his stint, and we are looking to the next race at Homestead. Congrats as well to Will, Don, Chris and Bill for their great run in the GS class."
The teams get a sizeable break from the racing action. The next race on the 2007 Koni Challenge calendar is not until April 14 when the series returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway in south Florida.