Marks And Auberlen Victorious WATKINS GLEN, NY - 06/13/2005 - The Baker Sox/Turner Motorsport BMW M3 won its second Grand Am Cup race of the year this past weekend at Watkins Glen in New York. Justin Marks started the M3 from the GS class pole...
Marks And Auberlen Victorious
WATKINS GLEN, NY - 06/13/2005 - The Baker Sox/Turner Motorsport BMW M3 won its second Grand Am Cup race of the year this past weekend at Watkins Glen in New York. Justin Marks started the M3 from the GS class pole for the fourth time this season and Bill Auberlen brought the car home in first place. Will Turner and Don Salama finished in the points and now lead the ST class in with their Turner Motorsport BMW 330i. Steve Pfeffer and Tim Pappas in the third Turner Motorsport entry are now in third in overall points.
Justin Marks qualified the #96 Baker Sox/Turner Motorsport BMW M3 on the pole late in the qualifying session. It was the fourth time in 2005's five races that Marks has earned the fastest qualifying position.
During the 200-mile race, Marks kept the M3 out in front while doing his best to conserve the car and stay clean of incidents. After pitting for fuel and a driver change the M3 returned to racing in the fifth spot. In a single thrilling lap, Auberlen had regained the lead just as the course went to a full-course yellow and with only 3 laps remaining in the race. It was the second win of the year for the M3 with the other coming in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
Bill Auberlen, pilot, #96 Baker Sox/Turner Motorsport BMW M3:
"Our car was real good in the long runs. Once I got some clean air up front I could start to walk away, but it was real hard to get there. Justin (Marks) made it look easy. I wanted to get up front because it's safer up there and it's a tribute to the guys. I don't think we turned one screw on this car all weekend. It's been great all weekend."
The #95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i qualified in the third spot on the ST class grid with Will Turner and Don Salama doing the driving for the race. The #97 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i qualified in tenth. In the early going Turner moved the BMW up to second place then finally into the lead before handing driving duties off to Salama. The lead swapped several more times as cars pitted and Salama found himself in second place on lap 40. On lap 47, the Acura that Salama was pursuing suffered engine failure and several cars spun on the Acura's oil, including both Turner Motorsport 330s. Both were able to get towed from the gravel trap and continue but finished outside the top ten.
Turner and Salama are leading in the ST class championship standings with a slim margin to the second place Chevy Cobalt team.
This Grand Am Cup race from Watkins Glen will be broadcast on The SPEED Channel on June 19 at 5:00pm ET.
The next round of the Grand Am Cup season will be this weekend at the Mosport circuit in Ontario, Canada. Practice and Qualifying will be on Friday with the 200 mile race scheduled to start at 3:30pm on Saturday.