Second Straight Podium Result For Turner and Salama LAGUNA SECA RACEWAY, Monterey, CA - 05/02/2005 - Turner Motorsport BMWs scored pole positions in both classes of the Grand Am Cup series this past weekend at Laguna Seca. Justin Marks led the...
Second Straight Podium Result For Turner and Salama
LAGUNA SECA RACEWAY, Monterey, CA - 05/02/2005 - Turner Motorsport BMWs scored pole positions in both classes of the Grand Am Cup series this past weekend at Laguna Seca. Justin Marks led the GS class in his Turner Motorsport/Baker Socks BMW M3 and Don Salama scored the first ST class pole of the year in a Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 330i. Tire wear and time spent in the pits dropped the BMWs from the lead during the race but both ST 330s finished in the top ten with Will Turner and Don Salama scoring their second podium finish in a row.
This was the third pole position of the year for the Turner Motorsport/Baker Socks BMW M3. Justin Marks started the race and swapped the lead with a Ford Mustang before handing the car off to Bill Auberlen on lap 44. However the car was assessed a penalty during the pit stop and the car fell back in the field but Auberlen was able to fight his way back to sixth overall. His charge was cut short when a battle with a fellow M3 driver turned ugly. Contact between the cars occurred which required a pit stop for both cars to change damaged wheels. While the TMS crew was faster the other M3 still got back out onto the track first. Auberlen did not give up and passed the other M3 only to be forced off the track on the last lap. The #96 M3 was classified in fifteenth overall.
Bill Auberlen, pilot, #96 Turner Motorsport/Baker Socks BMW M3:
"I have to credit the Turner guys for putting together an awesome car. The H&R Springs and StopTech brakes let me chase down the leaders late in the race. The Baker Socks M3 was just awesome when the race went green and we used the caution periods to let the tires cool down. We were right there at the end but it was not to be. Things did not go our way even though the car was great. We have some time now before our next race and we're going to regroup and come back better than ever."
Don Salama qualified his Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 330i in first place. During the early parts of the race, Salama's strategy was to conserve his tires and prolong the performance of the car. Thanks to several caution periods, he was able to maximize his fuel usage. On lap 44 he brought the car in for tires and fuel and Will Turner got in. Turner was able to move up to third place by the checkered flag.
Will Turner, team owner and pilot, #95 Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 330i:
"The problem that we run into late in the race is tire performance. Because our car is several hundred pounds heavier than the other cars it's tough on the tires that we must use. It's not that the Hoosier tires are poor; it's that everyone is on the same size tire and that plays a huge factor late in a race as we lose grip in the corners and under braking while everyone else is still fresh. We had a flawless pit stop and the caution periods helped us to extend our fuel window and we finished on the podium for the second race in a row."
Tim Pappas and Steve Pfeffer in the #97 Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 330i qualified in the sixth position. During the race they took advantage of an early caution period to pit for a driver change, fuel, and tires on lap 31. Grand Am officials penalized the #97 car during their pit stop but Steve Pfeffer drove a smooth and intelligent rest of the race to finish where they started in sixth place.
Turner Motorsport is excited to have Baker Socks on board as the new title sponsor of the #96 BMW M3. The team also receives support from H&R Springs, StopTech Brakes, B&M Racing, Borla, Red Line Oil, Pagid, Sunoco, Crocs, and Piloti Driving Shoes.
The SPEED Channel will broadcast the Laguna Seca round of the Grand Am Cup series on Saturday, May 14 at 1:00pm.
The next round of the Grand Am Cup series will be at Watkins Glen, New York on June 12 with the next race at Mosport, Ontario, Canada the following weekend.