Daytona24: Turner Motorsport post-race notes
On-track action drives Turner Motorsport BMW Tuning to new levels
Amesbury, MA, 8 February - While the checkered flag didn't see the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 making one final turn into Victory Lane in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Turner Motorsport still experienced the racing maxim of "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" as the 2011 season kicked off at Daytona International Speedway.
Beyond a tremendous response from race fans via Facebook, emails, and calls, the BMW tuning firm also experienced a significant sales surge in the days following the organization's impressive effort in the season opening weekend, which featured races in both the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series.
With strong race outings from all three Turner Motorsport machines, the event provided a big boost for Will Turner's group, which was originally formed in support of the BMW tuning side of the business based outside of Boston.
"I was really overwhelmed with the response we had," offered Turner. "I'm not sure if it's because we are racing the M3 in both series now, or just that the interest in the Rolex Series has grown that significantly, or if our fans just really liked the fact that we didn't just give up--we fixed the car and went back out there, or what is driving it all. But it's been incredible, kind of overwhelming, how much feedback we've had from all of our Turner Motorsport fans and it also really drove the business side of what we do here at the shop."
Friday's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge event saw Paul Dalla Lana make his Daytona podium debut with co-driver Bill Auberlen as the duo brought the BMW M3 home in third, with the sister BMW M3 of Michael Marsal and Joey Hand also a podium factor in the race until the final laps.
The Turner Motorsport Rolex 24 effort with drivers Dalla Lana, Auberlen, Matt Plumb, and Boris Said also had a strong race outing with the No. 94 BMW M3 moving into the lead early in the race and staying at the sharp end of the field until a gearbox problem forced the team off the track and into the garage. The Turner crew made quick work of the mammoth transmission change and returned to the track, completing 534 laps to finish 17th in class. The race completion marked the second in as many tries for the team, which had been hoping to add to the win tally in Rolex competition in the debut event for the BMW M3.
The team had already experienced a boost ahead of the race weekend as new partnerships with Escort Radar Detectors and Spy Sunglasses were added to the commercial side of the racing program.
The GT Class effort, shown live on SPEED for 14 hours of Rolex 24 coverage, was the most prominent display of Turner go-fast know-how, and very nearly saw the team score a coup in the debut race for the Rolex Series GT BMW M3. While the transmission issue sidelined any shot at a run to victory, the outing still brought significant optimism about the season ahead as Turner engineers compiled all the data in the post-race debrief.
"The times that the car was doing, we've gone through lap by lap, and there is no question that if we had stayed out of trouble, that we'd have been right there to be fighting for a win at the end," said Turner. "So that's kind of frustrating and encouraging all in one. I'm proud of the effort from the team and all our drivers and now we are just hoping to go out and show what the M3 can do in the sprint races."
After such a strong showing from the M3, Turner expects that his Rolex effort could grow to feature a two car BMW M3 line up, just as his Continental Tire squad does.
"We have the infrastructure in place to grow to a second entry on the Rolex side pretty easily and of course having the car go to the lead like it did at Daytona has really spurred some additional interest," said Turner. "But right now the core focus is on Homestead and trying to get into a good rhythm in the next few races. We've got I think a great opportunity to be strong in both the Rolex Series and Continental Tire championships and we've got to make the most of these spring races to make sure we are where we want to be at Mid-Ohio."
Turner Motorsport now looks ahead to round two of the GRAND-AM season in both Rolex GT and Continental Tire series action at Homestead-Miami Speedway, March 4-5.
-source: turner motorsports
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