Strong Finishes Bring TMS Closer To The Top BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK, Birmingham, AL - 08/01/2005 - The Baker Sox/H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW M3 scored another podium finish in the Grand Am Cup series this past weekend at Barber Motorsports...
Strong Finishes Bring TMS Closer To The Top
BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK, Birmingham, AL - 08/01/2005 - The Baker Sox/H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW M3 scored another podium finish in the Grand Am Cup series this past weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Justin Marks and Bill Auberlen finished in second place in the GS category while Will Turner and Don Salama scored a fourth place finish with their H&R Springs/Borla Exhaust/Turner Motorsport BMW 330i in the ST class.
Contact with another car forced the Marks/Auberlen M3 to miss qualifying and start from the back of the field. But when Marks took the green flag on Saturday afternoon there was little doubt as to the speed of the car. Marks improved by 11 positions on the first lap and was into second overall by lap 23. He took the lead and held it until his own stop on lap 42 to pass the car over to Bill Auberlen. However, the normally quick pitstop turned lengthy when the jack failed during tire changes. After losing several positions he fought back to third by lap 70. After the first place Porsche was disqualified, Auberlen/Marks were promoted to second.
Bill Auberlen, #96 Baker Sox/H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW M3:
"I wish I could say it was easy to move up through the field but it wasn't. The best we could do was make the car easy to drive for the entire 2.5 hours. StopTech gave us the equipment to out-brake the competition and Roland at H&R gave us a great handling car from start to finish. I think the experience that Justin Marks and I have had at this track with the Rolex Series helped in setting up the M3 as well. It's good to be up near the front but there's just a little more that we need to eek out."
Will Turner started from the front row in the #95 H&R Springs/Borla Exhaust/Turner Motorsport BMW 330i. After sneaking into the lead on the first lap he dropped back to second but was a constant threat to the leaders throughout the race. A smooth pitstop on lap 36 put Don Salama behind the wheel and he carried on the charge to their fourth top-five of the season.
Will Turner, #95 H&R Springs/Borla Exhaust/Turner Motorsport BMW 330i:
"The balance of the BMW was what brought us to the front here this weekend. In the twisty parts we are able to hold our own against the Mazda and the RSX. Some of these other cars are just a tick or two quicker than us in every category and those add up over the course of a lap. The Turner Motorsport crew are experts in what they do and sooner or later we're going to on the top step of the podium. We just have to keep plugging away at it."
The #97 H&R Springs/Turner Motorsport BMW 330i, driven by Tim Pappas and Steve Pfeffer, encountered some trouble in the early in the race as a one minute penalty was assessed for contact with another competitor. The penalty - almost two-thirds of a lap - was devastating and the team never fully recovered. They finished in thirteenth place.
Consistency has been a friend to the Turner Motorsport team this season. The second place for Justin Marks gives him five top-five finishes this year. He is now in second place in the overall GS class standings. His do-driver Auberlen also improves in the standings, albeit several positions back due to missing the Watkins Glen round. Will Turner and Don Salama improve to third in the overall standings on the strength of four top-five finishes in six races.
The Grand Am Cup event from Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama will be broadcast by The SPEED Channel on Saturday, August 6, 2005 at 2:30pm ET.
The next round of the Grand Am Cup series is this weekend at the city course in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.