SCC: Daytona: Turner Motorsport race notes

TURNER MOTORSPORT ON TOP AT DAYTONA DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY, Daytona, FL, USA (January 23, 2009) -- Turner Motorsport continued to make history with the outright win in last Friday's Grand-Am Koni Sports Car Challenge race at Daytona ...

TURNER MOTORSPORT ON TOP AT DAYTONA

DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY, Daytona, FL, USA (January 23, 2009) -- Turner Motorsport continued to make history with the outright win in last Friday's Grand-Am Koni Sports Car Challenge race at Daytona Speedway in Florida. Bill Auberlen and Matt Bell motored to victory from the wheel of the #96 H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3. The Speed Channel's broadcast of this race will be this Saturday, January 31, at 4:00pm ET.

The win was Auberlen's twelfth in Koni Challenge racing (all with Turner Motorsport) and second in the last three races going back to last year. It was Matt Bell's first win among the ranks of professional racers. The win brings the total number of Koni Challenge wins for Turner Motorsport to 14 - the most of any GS team in Koni Challenge history. It was also the first Koni Challenge win ever for a BMW M3 at Daytona Speedway, a track long dominated by more powerful cars.

Turner Motorsport also scored well with the #97 H&R Springs/Motul Lubricants BMW M3. It finished seventh in the GS class with Chris Gleason and Joey Hand doing the driving. In the ST class, 2006 champions Don Salama and Will Turner piloted the all-new StopTech/Pagid Brakes BMW 328i to an impressive eighth.

Thanks to a very notable third-place qualifying performance by Matt Bell, the #96 H&R Springs M3 was well-poised to make a bid for the race win. Matt, who drove the Turner Motorsport BMW 330i last year in the ST class, held off several competitors during his driving stint. He handed the reigns to Bill during one of the race's many cautions. Auberlen was able to use the draft around Daytona to take the lead on lap 50. The lead changed hands several times for the remaining 24 laps but it was Bill who was at the front when the checkered flag waved.

Bill commented, "All of the pieces fell into place here. The M3 was like a Swiss watch and it just kept turning one precise lap after another. Everything Matt and I asked of it, we got. Same goes for the Turner crew. We made a beautiful pitstop and driver change - again like clockwork. The last 20 minutes of the race were simply fantastic. We put on a really good race for the fans. I can't wait to see it on Speed."

In the ST class, drivers Don Salama and Will Turner took the wheel of the team's newest race machine - a 2009 BMW E90 328i. Built within the walls of Turner Motorsport, the car hit the track for the first time at a test session last week. With few of the usual new-car maladies, the team could focus on fine-tuning the handling and braking. Don qualified the car in the top ten and Will took it the rest of the way for a very respectable eighth place (the highest finishing BMW).

Will Turner on the performance of the #95 StopTech/Pagid Brakes 328i: "It was very easy to drive. It actually exceeded our expectations for its first race. It could use some more work and testing but we're bringing the car back without a dent or scratch so our guys at the shop can turn now to making improvements. I think this car will be very strong for the other races."

-credit: tm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Joey Hand , Will Turner , Chris Gleason , Don Salama , Matthew Bell
Teams Turner Motorsport