TMS And BMW Finish Strong In Championship VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, Alton, VA - 10/11/2005 - With another podium finish this past weekend in the VIR 200, Turner Motorsport secured second place rankings in both the GS and ST class ...
TMS And BMW Finish Strong In Championship
VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, Alton, VA - 10/11/2005 - With another podium finish this past weekend in the VIR 200, Turner Motorsport secured second place rankings in both the GS and ST class championships. BMW locked up second place in the Manufacturer's Championship in both classes as well.
The 2005 season was very much a success for Turner Motorsport thanks to the support of H&R Springs, Baker Sox, StopTech Brakes, Borla Exhaust, Crocs, Red Line Oil, B&M Racing, and Piloti Driving Shoes. As a team, Turner Motorsport BMWs earned eight pole positions, scored five wins, 13 podium finishes, 19 top fives, and 24 top ten finishes through 11 races.
The Turner Motorsport M3 finished out the year second in the overall GS Team Championship. On the strength of five overall wins and eight top five finishes the Turner Motorsport M3 was the top BMW team in all of Grand Am Cup. Heading into this last round, Turner Motorsport was leading the Team Championship but because of VIR's results Turner Motorsport was forced to hand over the title to the #05 Multimatic Ford team.
The two Turner Motorsport BMW 330s finished second and third in the Team Championship for the ST class. Helped along by their five podium finishes and eight top five results, the #95 H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW 330i driven by Will Turner and Don Salama are runners-up to the Driver's Championship for the second year in a row. Steve Pfeffer and Tim Pappas in the #97 H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW 330i scored four times in the top five to finish third in the ST Team Championship.
In Saturday's season finale, Will Turner scored his third pole of the year in the #95 H&R Springs BMW 330i. Tim Pappas and Steve Pfeffer made it an all-TMS front row with their second-fastest qualifying time. But it was during the early stages of the race that the speed of the Turner Motorsport BMWs was most evident. The team took a gamble with using slick tires on a wet/dry track and it paid off with Turner and Pfeffer leaving the ST field behind in their mist.
Will Turner kept the H&R Springs 330i out in front during the first round of pitstops and eventually took the overall lead in a field of 67 cars. Turner pitted for slick tires and fuel on lap 34 and handed driving duties to Don Salama. But two laps later the skies opened up and Salama had to bring the 330i back in for rain tires. This dropped the 330i to third in the ST class and that's where they finished.
In the #97 H&R Springs BMW 330i, Steve Pfeffer was hot on the heels of Turner during the opening stages. However, the wet track caused a Porsche to spin and Pfeffer found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. The resulting accident knocked the #97 BMW out of the race. Pfeffer was unhurt.
Will Turner, Team Owner and Driver, #95 H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW 330i:
"The Turner Motorsport team gave 110% today but luck also plays a role and we were unlucky with the rain coming down right after our pitstop and with Steve Pfeffer being an innocent victim in that incident. Our pitstops were perfect. The setup on the cars was perfect right out of the trailer. This was one of the most exciting races all season because we were just flat out the entire time."
In the GS class, the #96 Baker Sox/Turner Motorsport BMW M3 fell victim to the dark side of racing luck. During qualifying with Justin Marks on his flying lap debris on the track flew up into the engine compartment and cut the oil system's belt, causing engine failure. This occurred only an hour before the race was to start leaving the Turner Motorsport team with no options other than to retire the car and hand the Team Championship to the Multimatic Ford team.
Bill Auberlen, Driver, #96 Baker Sox/Turner Motorsport BMW M3:
"This car was incredible all season. The Turner Motorsport crew is just amazing at what they do - hands down the best team in Grand Am Cup. H&R makes the best suspension products and StopTech Brakes has the best braking systems that you can put on any car. This season was a renewal of the classic Ford-BMW battles in Europe in the 1970s and '80s. Both Turner Motorsport and Multimatic scored five wins this year but we edged them out on pole positions. I think we succeeded in keeping Ford on their toes and from running away with the championship. The only thing you can't control is luck and we didn't have enough of it this weekend."
The 2005 season was the first that TMS raced the M3 in Grand Am Cup and the results speak for themselves: five wins, five pole positions (most poles of any GS team), and eight top five finishes.
The SPEED Channel will have its first broadcast of the VIR round on November 13 at 3:00pm ET.