JACKPOT! ANDERS HAINER IS CROWNED 2006 CHAMPION Hainer Is Driver Champion; Turner Motorsport Wins Team Championship VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, Alton, VA USA - October 7, 2006 -- Turner Motorsport driver Anders Hainer is the 2006 Grand Am...
JACKPOT! ANDERS HAINER IS CROWNED 2006 CHAMPION
Hainer Is Driver Champion; Turner Motorsport Wins Team Championship
VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, Alton, VA USA - October 7, 2006 -- Turner Motorsport driver Anders Hainer is the 2006 Grand Am Cup Champion in the Grand Sport class after today's 6-hour endurance race at Virginia International Raceway. Hainer co-drove today's race with Boris Said in the #97 H&R Springs/Under Armour BMW M3 to finish in sixth place -- twenty-one spots ahead of their rivals in the Championship, Patrick Long and Brent Martini in the #81 Porsche. By virtue of the #97 M3's 253 points, Turner Motorsport is the winner of the 2006 Team Championship.
This is Hainer's first Driver's Championship and comes in only his second year of Grand Am Cup competition. "This is a dream come true for me and for the Turner Motorsport team. We had a terrific car all year thanks to H&R and Under Armour. All we set out to do in the final three races of the season is score as many points as possible. We won the last round at Miller which put us into the lead and today all we wanted was to run clean and keep the #81 Porsche from getting too far ahead. They had a big problem and we didn't. Turner Motorsport's efforts really paid off."
Hainer is the sole champion as his teammate Boris Said missed two races due to his NASCAR commitments. Helping with the driving duties during were Joey Hand and Nic Jonsson. But it was Said and Hainer working as a team that brought them the championship. The #97 Turner Motorsport M3 earned three podiums, including 1 win, and seven top five finishes in 2006. It finished outside the top ten only once in ten races.
Finishing third in the Championship standings are the drivers of the #96 H&R Springs/StopTech Brakes BMW M3 -- Bill Auberlen and Chris Gleason. They were serious contenders all year for overall race wins, scoring two at Lime Rock and Mid Ohio, but a few results outside the top ten cost them precious points in the end. In today's 6-hour race Joey Hand joined Auberlen and Gleason. They finished third, giving them their fifth podium finish of the season.
In 2006, Turner Motorsport ran the most successful M3 racecars in professional North American road racing. The #96 and #97 M3s won three races and scored eight podium finishes within a total of 16 top ten results. No other team racing the M3 professionally in North America scored a victory in 2006. Turner Motorsport has also scored a win with the M3 in SCCA Club Racing where Will Turner will be going after the T2 championship next week at the SCCA Runoffs.
This is Turner Motorsport's first Grand Am Cup championship but the team is no stranger to titles. With Bill Auberlen doing the driving the team won the 2003 and 2004 Speed Touring Car Championships. Auberlen finished runner-up in the Grand Sport class last year. Will Turner and Don Salama, whose race will be at 1:00pm on Sunday, have also finished second in the last two Grand Am Cup Street Tuner seasons. This year, they lead the championship by eleven points.
Will Turner, team owner:
"This is an extraordinary moment in our company's history. The guys and girls on this team deserve this championship after all the hard work they put in -- especially in the weeks leading up to this race. This was a tough race to prepare for and our crew pulled it off. Winning races this year and bringing home the title I think really solidifies Turner Motorsport as a championship-caliber team. It's a very important distinction to have when our business is selling and developing the best high-performance BMW parts. Only one BMW tuner in North America can say they won a championship this year."
Assisting the Turner Motorsport team in their championship efforts this year were a number of sponsors and technical partners. Without their efforts and contributions the team could not have had such great success. The entire Turner Motorsport organization extends their gratitude to H&R Springs, StopTech Brakes, B&M Racing, Borla Exhaust, Pagid Racing, Motul Lubricants, Piloti Driving Shoes, and F1 Boston.
There's still one race to be run and one championship still left to be decided. Tomorrow's Street Tuner race begins at 1:00pm ET. Will Turner and Don Salama in the #95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i will start the race from the front row.