Herta to race Turner Motorsport BMW M6 in Rolex 24

IndyCar ace Colton Herta will be joining one of the star GT Daytona-class teams, Turner Motorsports, for the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener this month.

Herta to race Turner Motorsport BMW M6 in Rolex 24
Listen to this article

Herta has made a strong impression piloting the works BMW M8s in GT Le Mans, run by the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team.

The Californian 20-year-old was part of the GTLM winning line-up at Daytona – his IMSA debut – in 2019, and in his five subsequent outings he scored three more top-fives. The last of these, the Sebring 12 Hours last November, should have actually been another win but co-driver Connor De Phillippi was struck by an errant GTD car in the final stint.

“I’m excited to be staying with BMW this year,” said Herta who has also scored three IndyCar wins in his first two years at the top level, and finished third in last year’s NTT IndyCar Series championship.

“I appreciate the opportunity to drive the Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. It’s going to be a new challenge for me racing in the GTD class, but I’m very much looking forward to cracking on with everyone.”

He will be joining Turner’s full-timers BMW legend Bill Auberlen, who last year earned the record for the number of IMSA wins – 62 – and rising star Robby Foley, the pair of whom finished second in the GTD championship last year. The other member of the line-up, and the team’s Michelin Endurance Cup third man, will be Aidan Read.

“Our lineup for 2021 is stellar,” said Will Turner, team principal. “Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley have become quite the dynamic duo over the past few seasons, and I could not be happier to have them return for another season.

“We welcome Aidan Read to the team for the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds and look forward to seeing what he can add to our effort. For the Rolex 24, BMW NA facilitated Colton Herta signing on and his addition cannot be underestimated.

“Sometimes it feels like the last two decades have been a whirlwind, but I don’t want to miss the chance to thank BMW for their belief in the team and support to help Turner Motorsport reach 400 races, and seven championships, with ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’.

“I am also pleased to announce that Turner Motorsport has renewed our partnership with Liqui Moly for another year. Liqui Moly is "everywhere" and has posted record sales numbers recently. I can't think of a better partner to be with for 2021." 

For Read, an Australian American 21-year-old, this will be his first race in North America, but he has raced a BMW M6 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters Championship , finishing in the runner up position in the junior category in 2019. 

He commented: “I have really enjoyed my time in ADAC GT Masters, it’s been a valuable career step for me.

“Two seasons of racing GT3 in Europe, in what was a super-competitive championship, combined with my programs in Prototype endurance events has made me a stronger overall driver and this is definitely something that will aid me in my move to the USA and the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup.

“The difference in approach to the race weekend between Sprint and Endurance competition is significant. The former is focused on very short moments like qualifying, the latter about strong average performance over long distance.

“With my talented teammates, combined with Turner Motorsport’s experience in series and the BMW M6, I look forward to the new season with confidence. I have watched the Rolex 24 for many years, so to compete there - and also at other iconic US tracks such as Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta - will be a great opportunity and also a challenge. I can’t wait to get started in Daytona!” 

In other GTD news, HTP Winward will enter a Mercedes AMG GT3 and will include Maro Engel as its star driver, while Heart of Racing’s Aston Martin will be piloted by Ian James, Roman de Angelis, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn.

Latest entry list for 59th Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

shares
comments

Related video

Nunez lands LMP2 drive with new WIN Autosport team
Previous article

Nunez lands LMP2 drive with new WIN Autosport team

Next article

Barbosa gets full-season IMSA drive in LMP3 class

Barbosa gets full-season IMSA drive in LMP3 class
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Prime

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push Prime

The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push

Have you heard the one about two British guys driving for a Japanese manufacturer in America’s top sportscar series? Time to sit down and talk with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat about racing across the pond… and your accent being mistaken for Australian!

IMSA
Mar 16, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022
Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC Prime

Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC

OPINION: The adoption by IMSA of the GTP name for its forthcoming LMDh versus Le Mans Hypercar era in 2023 appeals to fans of nostalgia - but it undermines the commonality achieved by bringing its rulebook into line with the WEC. GTP or Hypercar, both sides should settle on a single name

WEC
Feb 15, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic Prime

How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic

Helio Castroneves continued his fine start to life with Meyer Shank Racing that netted the 2021 Indianapolis 500 victory by prevailing in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours together with teammates Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud. As Cadillac fell by the wayside, the Brazilian veteran won out in an all-Acura duel to the finish

IMSA
Feb 1, 2022