TURNER BMWs DOMINATE AT LIME ROCK PARK LIME ROCK PARK, Lakeville, CT (May 25, 2009) -- Turner Motorsport driver Joey Hand got around the front-running Porsche coming out of Big Bend with 22 minutes remaining and held on to win Monday's Grand-Am...
TURNER BMWs DOMINATE AT LIME ROCK PARK
LIME ROCK PARK, Lakeville, CT (May 25, 2009) -- Turner Motorsport driver Joey Hand got around the front-running Porsche coming out of Big Bend with 22 minutes remaining and held on to win Monday's Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport portion of the Lime Rock Park Road Racing Classic.
Driving the #97 Turner Motorsport / H&R Springs BMW M3 started by Chris Gleason, Hand went on to post a 4.735-second margin of victory in the two-hour, 30-minute event over #41 Porsche GT3.
"Andy Lally is a professional, and you have to pull every trick in the book to get by him," Hand said after his third KONI Challenge victory, and first since ending 2007 with back-to-back triumphs. "Turner Motorsport put together a good race car, and I was able to make moves high and low. I knew Andy had a good pace, but once I got into second, it wasn't as easy to run him down as I thought. I knew it would be fun on one hand, but tough to get by him on the other. I knew whenever we get together we put on a good show, because we have a high level of respect for each other."
Hand and Gleason completed 135 laps on the 1.53-mile circuit, averaging 82.464 mph.
It was Turner Motorsport's series leading 14th KONI Challenge victory. It was also Gleason's sixth career victory in the series, and his first since winning at Virginia International Raceway in 2007. Gleason remains perfect at Lime Rock winning his third race in as many tries at the circuit. It also broke Gleason's own record of being the oldest winner in the series, at 65 years old.
Teammate Matt Bell fell just .056 seconds short of continuing a record pole-position streak, and started the #96 StopTech Brakes / MOTUL Lubricants BMW M3 in the front row of yesterdays race. A spin, resulting from contact with another car, posed only a minor setback for Bell. He quickly regained lost positions, bringing his car back to the lead pack before handing the car over to co-driver Bill Auberlen. Auberlen would fight his way back from the pit-stop up to a third place, giving the team not one but two podium finishes for the day.
This strong 1-and-3 finish harkens back to 2006, when the Turner Motorsport team made a 1-2 finish, also at their home track, Lime Rock Park.
The next action for the KONI Challenge will be June 5 at Watkins Glen International, in conjunction with the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.