Weight Penalties Add Up For Champ MID OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE, OH - 06/28/2004 - Despite 150lbs of R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight from his two wins this season, Bill Auberlen put in a stellar drive to finish in fourth place in Saturday's Speed Touring Car...
Weight Penalties Add Up For Champ
MID OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE, OH - 06/28/2004 - Despite 150lbs of R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight from his two wins this season, Bill Auberlen put in a stellar drive to finish in fourth place in Saturday's Speed Touring Car race at Mid Ohio. Justin Marks added another top ten finish as he came home in eighth place. Dino Crescentini recovered from an early spin to finish in sixteenth. Auberlen continues to lead in the overall Championship in his Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs/BMW of Watertown BMW 325i.
Under series rules, race winners must carry an additional 75lbs of ballast. With his two wins at Sebring and Lime Rock Park, Bill Auberlen was carrying 150lbs of R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight (Rewarding of Equalizing Weight Assigned to Reduce Driver Sensitivity). This system is designed to build equality among the drivers during the course of the season. At Mid Ohio, Auberlen noticed the extra weight in braking, cornering, and acceleration. He started the race in fourth place. On the first lap, he pushed his car up into third place and was able to hold off Peter Cunningham until lap 22 when he was passed on the back straight. His fourth-place finish equals his lowest finishing position in his 17-race history at Turner Motorsport. He will be carrying another 30lbs for round four at Sears Point.
"This Turner Motorsport team does not let up. We started things out right with first and second during Friday practice. We made some more adjustments with H&R Springs because of the extra weight and the car was just right for the race. I was up to third early on but the 150lbs of ballast come into play on every corner and in every braking zone. I'm looking forward to Sears Point in my home state but I'm not looking forward to the 180lbs that will be in the car - we didn't have that much last year until round 7."
Justin Marks earned himself another top ten finish for the fourth time this season. His consistency has put him far up in the overall Championship points (to fifth after this race). At Mid Ohio he was right on the heels of his teammate Auberlen all weekend. Starting from ninth on the grid, Marks encountered heavy traffic in the early stages of the race. He finished in eighth place.
Dino Crescentini started twelfth but suffered from a spin on the first lap. He fell back to last place in the 33-car field. Not one to back down from a challenge, Dino fought his way back to finish within the top twenty and the highest finishing rookie driving a BMW.
All three Turner Motorsport drivers will be looking forward to the next round of the Speed Touring Car Championship, July 16-18 at Infineon Raceway/Sears Point in Sonoma, California. Auberlen, Marks, and Crescentini all make their homes in California.
With support from H&R Springs, BMW of Watertown, Sunoco Race Fuels, Red Line Oil, OZ Wheels, Piloti Driving Shoes, Meguiar's, and Hot Tomatoes, Auberlen, Marks, and Crescentini are in first, fifth, and thirteenth in the Speed Touring Car Championship.