Turner Motorsport heads south to Barber Motorsports Park, in Leeds, AL, for Round 3 of the GRAND-AM season still rockin' after its command performance at Homestead-Miami Speedway and a sweep of both the Rolex Sports Car and Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge races (CTSCC)
Gimme Three Steps: Rolex - Turner Motorsport BMWs have led both previous Rolex races with the No. 94 M3, winning Miami-Homestead in dominant fashion. In the GS class - A third place finish at the CTSCC opener at Daytona by the No. 96 M3 was backed up by a win at Homestead-Miami. That's two wins and a third in the first two events of the season. Turner Motorsport leads CTSCC Grand Sport team points and has helped drive BMW to the top of the manufacturer standings. Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana lead driver points. Joey Hand and Michael Marsal stand tied for 13th. In Rolex GT Driver points Auberlen and Dalla Lana are ninth.
Will Turner - "I am excited to go racing again. Even after our success at Homestead we have been working hard to improve our machinery. Barber is a tricky racetrack, but we are confident that we will be a contender for the podium."
Sweet Home Alabama: CTSCC - Last year, Hand and Marsal drove their No. 97 M3 to third in the CTSCC race, the highest finishing position of any BMW in the field. Auberlen and Dalla Lana were only two spots back in fifth.
Green Grass and High Tides: Barber Motorsports Park is considered by many to be one of most beautiful road racing circuits in North America. The track winds 17 turns into its 2.38-mile length, combining some eighty feet of elevation change.
Joey Hand – "Barber is a great track to drive. It's tight with some very cool corner sequences. I've picked up some tricks over the years on a few of them that I will pass on to Michael (Marcel)."
Michael Marsal - "Barber is a great racetrack. Long sweeping corners and a couple of quick switchbacks ensure excitement. It's got a great rhythm to it."
Bill Auberlen - "The circuit is so picturesque, like a museum's garden. It's a lot of fun to drive and very challenging. We learned a lot about what it takes for the M3 to be set up correctly last year and we'll need every bit of that this year."
Ramblin' Man: Turner's shoe Joey Hand will be driving for BMW Motorsport at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. This will be Hand's first time at the 24 hour classic. With Rolex 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring victories he could join a very small number of drivers who have won all three of the world's great endurance races.
Joey Hand – "When my nomination to drive at Le Mans was first discussed, I said, "Yes!" It's the biggest race in the world for sports car racing and I have always wanted to drive it. We have a proven driver line up and great momentum. I am learning the track with simulators and I am positive that I'll be able to "bring it".
Whipping Post: On March 25 Grand-Am made a number of rules changes to competitors. Among them are limiting the CTSCC BMW M3s to a maximum of 8250 rpm and the Rolex M3 to a 6800 rpm limit.
Will Turner - "The recent rules changes were a shock to me. We didn't have the fastest car or the fastest race laps at Homestead. The Grand Am officials must have had a good reason to take the revs away from us. I don't think it will hurt us too much at Barber because of the short straights, but – for sure – it's going to slow us down at VIR and Watkins Glen."
Joey Hand – "It's never a good thing to have this kind of an adjustment, but it is the way that the series wants to keep parity. Turner has been down this road before and we will deal with it. For all the drivers it will require more focus on handling and set up."
We'll be updating our facebook page from the track with information from practice and qualifying on Friday, and both races on Saturday. Tune into SPEED on Sunday, April 10 at 12:00 p.m. ET for coverage of the Rolex Porsche 250. The CTSCC Barber 200 will be broadcast on SPEED Saturday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Recommended play list for your BMW this week: The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, and The Marshall Tucker Band.
About Turner Motorsport Turner Motorsport is the leading BMW tuner in North America, bringing technology and expertise from the racetrack to the street. Turner Motorsport is not about clever marketing tricks or gimmicks. Racetrack results speak themselves. The Turner Motorsport team has won five professional racing championships in two different series since 2003. This storied success is passed into every component that Turner Motorsport designs and sells through their website catalog. Our race team, R&D engineers and Sales team work together, ensuring practical knowledge and state-of-the-art engineering to flow in both directions. Few companies in North America can claim such a close relationship to what they sell and what they race.
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2011 ROLEX SERIES SCHEDULE
Television coverage by
April 7-9 | Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham AL May 13-14 | Virginia International Raceway, Alton VA May 29-30 | Lime Rock Park, Lakeville CT June 3-4 | Watkins Glen, NY June 23-25 | Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI July 8-9 | Laguna Seca, Salinas, CA July 22-24 | New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, NJ August 12-13 | Watkins Glen, NY August 19-20 | Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, QC September 16-17 | Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH
The SPEED Channel will provide LIVE TV broadcast for all Rolex GT races, and tape delay coverage for Continental Tire Challenge races throughout the year. Stay tuned to TMSRacing.com or SPEEDTV.com for broadcast dates and times.
Jeff has been with us since Monday, March 12, 2007.