Auberlen Adds Another Lime Rock Win; Turner Motorsport M3s Finish 1-2 LIME ROCK PARK, Lakeville, CT - 05/30/2006 - The Turner Motorsport BMW M3s ran a perfect race yesterday to score a win and a second place finish in the Grand Am Cup GS class...
Auberlen Adds Another Lime Rock Win; Turner Motorsport M3s Finish 1-2
LIME ROCK PARK, Lakeville, CT - 05/30/2006 - The Turner Motorsport BMW M3s ran a perfect race yesterday to score a win and a second place finish in the Grand Am Cup GS class at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. The #96 BMW M3 of Bill Auberlen and Chris Gleason led the way with their first win of 2006, while the #97 M3 of Anders Hainer and Boris Said followed close behind to make it a Turner Motorsport 1-2 finish after 200 miles of racing.
Despite a mid-pack starting position because of traffic during qualifying, the #96 H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes/Gleason Financial BMW M3 ran flawlessly with Chris Gleason behind the wheel. Gleason moved up several positions before the first yellow flag came out on lap 17. During the ensuing caution, Gleason handed the wheel over to Bill Auberlen and he brought the M3 up through the field to score their first win of 2006.
Bill Auberlen, #96 H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes/Gleason Financial BMW M3:
"Our package here was just un-beatable. This is a track where the Turner Motorsport team has really done their homework and it shows in the setups on our cars - both the #96 and the #97 BMW M3s had the edge here today. We put on a great show. In particular, our cars handled and stopped very very well and credit has to go to H&R Springs and StopTech Brakes - they put us out in front and kept us there."
In the #97 H&R Springs/Under Armour BMW M3, Anders Hainer qualified the car in sixth-place (his fourth top ten start of the year) and was on the move up into third when an overly aggressive, inexperienced , Porsche driver slammed the right side of the #97 BMW. Hainer kept the car from spinning off-course and he was able to continue without losing a lot of track positions. Like the #96 M3, Hainer made his pit stop at the first caution period and Boris Said assumed driving duties. Their second-place finish is their second in a row.
As the laps wound down, Said began to gain on race-leader Auberlen. There were no team orders and Auberlen kept the #97 M3 at bay for close to 20 laps. It appeared that Auberlen had a slightly better car in some parts of the course but Said kept his tires in better shape and made multiple pass attempts as the two entered turn 1 side-by-side. Auberlen would cross the checkered flag first by .748 second.
"Boris and I took some high-risk moves to get to the front, probably me a little more than him. I could see where he was very strong. There were maybe one or two points where I was slightly stronger. I know he played it very nice to me, nicer than he could, because he and I are friends."
Boris Said, #97 H&R Springs/Under Armour BMW M3:
"I think I was maybe just a hair quicker than Bill at the end, and I think I saved my tires a little better. Definitely, I'd rather be his teammate than race against him. We won a lot of races together with BMW, but when you're racing against him, with five laps to go, he knows where to put the car. With Lime Rock being a handling track, the BMW was just untouchable today. Anders did a great job as always."
In the chase for the Grand Am Cup championship, their second-place result boosted Hainer and Said to within three points of the lead. Gleason and Auberlen are now in fourth-place overall - just 13 points out of first place.
The next round for the Grand Am Cup series will be at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course on June 23-25.