FOURTH WIN IN A ROW FOR TURNER BMW MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK, Tooele, UT(September 24, 2008) -- For the fourth time in three years, Turner Motorsport has won the Koni Challenge race at Miller Motorsports Park. They are now 3 for 3 in the GS class...
FOURTH WIN IN A ROW FOR TURNER BMW
MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK, Tooele, UT(September 24, 2008) -- For the fourth time in three years, Turner Motorsport has won the Koni Challenge race at Miller Motorsports Park. They are now 3 for 3 in the GS class with a BMW M3 while also winning the ST class in 2006. In a race decided by brakes and handling, Bill Auberlen and Matt Alhadeff teamed up for the checkered flag this year in the #96 H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3.
There was lots of action during the race, especially in the final laps, so make sure your TiVo is set for October 12 at 11:00am (ET) when this race will be broadcast on The Speed Channel. A re-broadcast of the New Jersey race will be on this Saturday at 3:00pm (ET).
Matt Alhadeff was celebrating his second consecutive win at Miller Motorsports Park this past weekend. He scored the win last year in a Turner M3 with Joey Hand co-driving. This year, regular TMS pilot Bill Auberlen took the wheel of the #96 H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3. They started from inside the top ten but Alhadeff was into the top five on the first lap, then to third on the third lap! He would move up one more spot before making a pit stop for fuel, tires, and the driver change for Bill Auberlen.
The #96 car would be back in the top five less than ten laps later and would advance from there. With four laps remaining, and on a restart from a caution period, Auberlen took the race lead with a classic out-braking maneuver into Turn 1. With the pack battling behind him, he was un-challenged for the remaining few laps. The #96 M3 also had the fastest race lap.
Bill Auberlen, pilot, #96 H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3: "This race was won with great brakes and great handling -- the things that BMWs are so praised over and Turner Motorsport develops so well. My teammate Matt Alhadeff did a super job getting us to the front in the early stages. This car was sweet the entire race but especially at the end there when I had a perfect combination of brakes, tires, and handling. I have to give this win to the StopTech Brakes guys -- they were just phenomenal."
The other Turner Motorsport M3 showed promise in the early going but had its pace slowed by a broken sway bar mount midway through the race. The lineup of Bryan Ortiz and Don Salama in the #97 Borla Exhaust/Nova Derm/OCG/GoToPuertoRico.com BMW M3 was as strong as ever during qualifying -- starting the race from the second row for the fifth time this year. Ortiz had the car as high as second place before making a pit stop for fuel and driver change. Salama put the car back up into a podium spot before making a second pit stop for fuel and to evaluate the suspension problem. Without the stop, the chances were very good for a Turner 1-2 finish.
In the ST class, drivers Matt Bell and VJ Mirzayan scored a solid eleventh place against the turbo and supercharged cars that did not lose power due to the high elevation of Salt Lake City. Every car that was not using forced induction endured a 15% power loss because of the thinner air. Under those circumstances, the two Turner drivers performed exceptionally well. The playing field will be back to normal for the 6-hour race at Virginia Raceway in two weeks.