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Laguna Seca: BMW Touring Car race notes

Bill Auberlen, driving the No. 93 Turner Motorsport BMW 325i, clinched his first SCCA Pro Racing Speed Touring Driver's Championship with a second-place finish in today's Round 8 race at Laguna Seca Raceway. Carrying 200 pounds of REWARDS weight...

Bill Auberlen, driving the No. 93 Turner Motorsport BMW 325i, clinched his first SCCA Pro Racing Speed Touring Driver's Championship with a second-place finish in today's Round 8 race at Laguna Seca Raceway.

Carrying 200 pounds of REWARDS weight he moved quickly from his fifth starting spot to third before a lap-4 full-course caution period brought the field back together. Diving into second in Turn 1 after the restart, Auberlen held his position for the remainder of the 26-lap contest around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course in Monterey, Calif.

The race was won by Jeff Altenburg's Mazda by 2.533 seconds over Auberlen.

It only took eight races for Auberlen to claim the driver's crown. The Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., resident won in Sebring (Fla.), Road Atlanta and Infineon Raceway (Sonoma, Calif.) from the pole and, in addition to today's race, finished second at both Mosport (Ontario, Canada) and Mid-Ohio. With a third at Road America (Wis.) and a fourth at Lime Rock (Conn.) he has scored 234 points, and cannot be surpassed in the remaining two races of the season.

Auberlen also recorded the fastest race lap in six rounds and has led the most laps to date.

Bob Stretch driving the No. 99 Wheels America BMW 325Ci had his best finish of the season, taking fifth after running as high as third.

Rounding out the top-10 for BMW, James Sofronas moved his No. 29 LectricAir/Tecmark 325Ci into 10th from his 15th starting spot.

BMW continues to lead the Manufacturer's Championship over Acura by 18 points and Mazda by 25.

The race is scheduled for broadcast on Speed Channel on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

BILL AUBERLEN, No. 93 TURNER MOTORSPORTS BMW 325i (first):
"I needed to beat Pierre (Kleinubing) by eight points today not one point, so I was content to run in third place behind him early on. When the green flag dropped for the restart I had such a run that it was just instinctual to pass him for second. It was too big a risk to go for Jeff and there was no point in that. If you wanted to win the Touring Driver's Championship you needed to drive a BMW. It is unbelievable to think that I could run in the top-two carrying 200 pounds of REWARDS weight."

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About this article
Series PWC
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Jeff Altenburg , Bob Stretch , James Sofronas
Teams Turner Motorsport