Auberlen Fends Off Rivals For Podium Finish Sebring Raceway, FL, USA - 03/22/2005 - The first round of the 2005 World Challenge Touring Car season will air this weekend on The SPEED Channel. Touring Car ace and 2004 Champion Bill Auberlen scored...
Auberlen Fends Off Rivals For Podium Finish
Sebring Raceway, FL, USA - 03/22/2005 - The first round of the 2005 World Challenge Touring Car season will air this weekend on The SPEED Channel. Touring Car ace and 2004 Champion Bill Auberlen scored a second-place finish in his Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 325i.
Auberlen started from the second-row but quickly jumped into the lead on the opening lap. And for 18 laps he hung on to a podium result despite intense wheel-to-wheel scuffles going on all around him. Due to off-season rule changes, the BMWs were strangled for power compared to other cars. Auberlen still managed a fine result and praised the performance of his StopTech brakes and suspension tuning with H&R Springs. Turner Motorsport worked with Borla Exhaust to extract the maximum amount of power from within the boundary of the rules. The 325i that Auberlen drove was developed to the max.
Bill Auberlen, car #1 Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 325i:
"This was a tough race. I had to push on every corner on every lap just get some kind of margin ahead of them before they blew by me on the straights. I just could not let up or I would get left in the dust. I'm happy with second but with these rule changes it doesn't look promising to run a BMW this year. With a podium finish under these circumstances I am more appreciative of the technology that H&R, StopTech, B&M, Borla, Red Line Oil, Sunoco, and Motul put in this car."
Starting with last season's weight adjustments, series officials further hurt the BMW's chances this year by allowing greater enhancements to its toughest competitors - the Mazda 6 and Acura TSX.
Will Turner, team owner, Turner Motorsport:
"The Touring Car series has been a great medium for us to compete in for a lot of years now but we just can't justify the team entering multiple cars for the whole season. We got lucky at Sebring and I know we were the best-prepared team because everyone else had problems. We've accomplished our goals in Touring Cars and last year began a full-time effort in the Grand Am Cup series and that continues this year with BMW 330s and M3s. Of course, we'd like to be competitive in World Challenge but the rules just won't allow it right now."
Turner Motorsport will compete in selected events on the World Challenge Touring Car calendar. The Grand Am Cup season is already under way with Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMWs finishing on the podium in each of the two races held thusfar - including the first win for the E46 M3 in the Dominican Republic two weeks ago.
The SPEED Channel will begin broadcasting the Sebring race this Sunday, March 27 at 1:00pm ET. With 6 lead changes among 18 laps this is sure to be a thriller to watch!
The next race for Turner Motorsport is with the Grand Am Cup series on April 1 at California Speedway in Fontana, California.