- Parent Category: BMW Racing News
- Category: 2014 IMSA TUDOR United Sportscar Championship
- Published on Monday, 14 July 2014 00:00
- Written by Jeff Seabrook
- Hits: 4436
Amesbury, MA. – July 14th, 2014 -- Despite having to carry the added weight prescribed by the IMSA competition department for yesterday’s Mobil 1 Sports car Grand Prix at the 2.49-mile, 10-turn Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Dane Cameron and Markus Palttala pushed their Turner BMW to the absolute limit to finish on the podium in Sunday’s two-hour-and-forty-five minute contest. The hard fought comeback to capture a well-deserved third place finish made round six of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship the most challenging thus far this season for the Turner team.
Markus Palttala kicked off Sunday’s race behind the wheel, starting from second position after an incredibly tight GTD qualifying session on Saturday. Palttala was able to make a couple quick moves to jump into first ahead of the No. 33 Viper of Ben Keating to lead lap one. Palttala went on to maintain position among the top three before handing the car over to Cameron exactly one hour into the race.
“Third is great considering the penalty and that we had a clear BoP-disadvantage,” said Palttala. “I enjoyed the start and got to the lead a couple of times taking advantage of traffic. However, it was impossible to stay ahead when the Viper and Porsche just cruised by on the straight.”
Cameron jumped in with four fresh Continental tires and full fuel, continuing on to push the No. 94 Turner BMW Z4, holding onto second place for the first twenty-nine minutes of his stint.
Despite Cameron and Palttala’s hard work, a stop-plus-twenty-second penalty issued for “propelling parts” as a wheel nut rolled outside the pit box after the team’s first stop, dropped the No. 94 BMW from second to seventh. The marginal call made by IMSA officials seemingly took the Turner BMW out of the race with one-hour-and-twenty minutes remaining.
Cameron, fighting for every inch on the track, charged back up to third to make an impressive comeback in the final forty-five minutes in the race to take the checkered flag just one lap behind the GTD class leader.
“It was a good recovery for sure, it was one of the toughest races all year long for us. We didn’t have the speed we had at Watkins Glen, one of our strengths was in the tire wear but they managed to take that away from us with the added weight. It’s just really difficult to make anything happen when your seven miles per hour slower than your competitors,” said Cameron. “We look forward to Indy to try and make up more ground on the points leaders. We will keep fighting to win this title for BMW and Turner Motorsport.”
The Turner No. 94 BMW Z4 sits in fourth place in the Championship Points hunt after the season’s third podium, just eight points out of first place with only five races remaining. The GTD class Championship is up for grabs, with the top five teams separated by only ten points.
“The GTD class is ultra competitive, the key to winning in being consistent and making no mistakes. Unfortunately, in our first pit stop the pit official reported a wheel nut outside our box resulting in a stop-plus-20 second penalty. This is the first time I’ve heard of such a penalty, wheel nuts sometimes roll during a stop. This call combined with no full course yellows prevented us from battling for the lead, ultimately controlling our destiny in this one,” explained Will Turner.