Defending champions return with BMW Z4.
In wake of the highlight 2014 race season Turner Motorsport begins final preparation for the 2015 return to the Tudor United SportsCar Championship Grand Touring Daytona class.
Turner is excited to announce the return to the Tudor United SportsCar Championship as defending 2014 GTD Champions. The No. 97 GTD-class BMW Z4 in Turner Blue and Yellow will make its debut at the 24 Hour at Daytona this coming January. The No. 97 BMW Z4 will be driven by two endurance racing veterans, Michael Marsal and Markus Palttala for the entire 2015 10-race Tudor Championship season.
Will Turner explains, “I have been working on putting this (IMSA) program together since the last race – I’m happy to say that everything just fell into place this past weekend - now my guys are going to have to work round the clock to get the car ready for Daytona."
Michael Marsal, who has appeared in several Turner Motorsport racecars over the years as well as in the P1 class in Europe, is returning for his fifth full season with Turner. In Marsal’s rookie season with Turner, he and co-driver Joey Hand finished second in driver points with two wins and eight podiums.
'It just feels right'
“It is great to have another full season ahead with Turner, I have had some great years with this team and it just feels right to get back behind the wheel of a blue and yellow BMW, especially the Z4 GTD with it’s success. Markus (Palttala) is back and we are ready for some 2015 racing,” commented Michael Marsal.
Palttala, who had an impressive debut season state-side with four wins, six podiums and ten top-ten finishes has signed on to share seat-time with Marsal for the entire 2015 Tudor Championship season. Palttala was also crowned 2014's most successful privateer BMW driver in the world at the BMW Sport Trophy awards ceremony back in December.
”I’m especially happy to return to the Tudor Championship with Turner Motorsport and the BMW Z4 GTD No. 97. I love racing in the US, there are just so many great circuits and events. With everything I learned in 2014 I think Michael and I will have a good run this season and I am looking forward to another season with Turner Motorsport,” said Markus Palttala
"With just under twenty-five days until Daytona, it’s crazy to think 2015 is already here,” commented Will Turner. “I hope we can carry some of the success we had with last year’s championship season into this year. IMSA announced the balance-of-performance adjustment for Daytona last week, and our car must be 35 kilos heavier than it was last year at Daytona but it is allowed the same size restrictor as Daytona in 2014.”
Priaulx added for NAEC
For 2015, Turner welcomes a new partner and familiar BMW Motorsport driver to the team. The IHG Rewards Club 2015 partnership with Turner will put Andy Priaulx in the Turner driver lineup for Patron North American Endurance Cup races including the 24 Hours at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Priaulx is a long time BMW works driver winning the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2011 he was a member of BMW Motorsport’s Intercontinental Le Mans Cup team co-driving the BMW M3 GT to a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring and a third place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2012 Priaulx joined BMW Motorsport’s DTM effort for two full seasons in the Crowne Plaza Hotels BMW M3 DTM. Most recently Priaulx co-drove the No. 55 RLL Team BMW Z4 GTLM with Bill Auberlen in 2014.
“Andy (Priaulx) is a fantastic addition to the team; the IHG Rewards Club partnership is especially exciting for us. Now we need to decide on our fourth driver and our driver lineup will be complete for Daytona. Fast, experienced silvers are not easy to find but I am confident that we will choose the best option in the next few days,” said Will Turner.
In 2014 Turner Motorsport won four races, made the podium a total of six times and finished inside the top 10 a total of ten times in just eleven races. The team was also able to achieve the 300-professional race milestone at COTA while campaigning the BMW Z4 as well as to be the first team worldwide to win a major championship with the BMW Z4 GT3.
The landmark 2014 year for Turner finished strong several weeks ago with Turner driver Markus Palttala crowned as 2014 BMW Sport Trophy Champion and co-driver Dane Cameron taking second at the award ceremony in Munich.