Turner Motorsport has taken the wraps off its newest contender in the GT class of the Rolex/ Grand-Am Sports Car Series; a Riley tube chassis Carbon Fiber BMW ///M6. Driven by a team of BMW pros including BMW Rahal Letterman Racing drivers Joey Hand and Bill Auberlen as well as Boris Said and Paul Dalla Lana the team should have a striking chance at victory this weekend in Florida.
Live TV coverage of the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be provided by SPEED TV on Saturday January 30 at 3:00 PM eastern and on Sunday January 31 at 7:00AM eastern.
This week is a great start for the BMW racing season for both Turner and BMW Rahal Letterman Racing who has recently begun off season testing in preparation for the ALMS season.
At BimmerFile we love racing and look forward to this weekend ‘s event as Turner has always put a great car out on the track for us race fans to root for.
NEW CAR, NEW SERIES, TOP DRIVERS, WINNING TEAM: THE INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS
The news sweeping throughout the BMW racing world is that Turner Motorsport has expanded into the GT class of the Rolex / Grand-Am Sports Car Series. They are entering a BMW M6 to compete in 2010 season, starting with the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Turner Motorsport brings with them championship winning experience, a race-proven crew, and a “Dream Team ” driver line-up that means business.
In what appears to be a “perfect storm, ” the most successful BMW race team in North America has paired the new BMW M6 and the best BMW drivers in the business to compete in the prestigious 48th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona, a grueling 24-hour survival of the fittest, taking place at Daytona International Speedway on January 30 and 31. Their driver line-up includes veteran BMW factory drivers Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand, who surprised many competitors with their fast pace while driving the BMW M3 GT2 in the American Le Mans Series last year. They will be joined by fellow road-racing legend and NASCAR driver Boris Said, as well as rookie sensation Paul Dalla Lana who had an impressive 2009 season driving the Turner Motorsport E90 328i.
“We ‘re feeling really confident, ” said team owner and company president Will Turner. “The Rolex series is definitely ‘the big show, ‘ and we knew we had our work cut out for us when we made the decision to run the M6 in the 24. Our goal is to win, and we believe we have the right combination to do just that. ”
The news of Turner ‘s move into the GT class and entry in the Daytona 24 has not only captured the attention of BMW racing fans worldwide, but also documentary filmmaker Veloz Media, who is producing a behind-the-scenes Web TV series to chronicle the team ‘s tremendous efforts and journey to the 24 hour race. This video production will provide a behind-closed-doors experience of preparing for and making it through this race of endurance and perseverance. A “teaser ” video has been posted on the web and can be viewed at www.TurnerMotorsport.com/journey24.
Turner Motorsport ‘s latest weapon in the BMW arsenal is a very special BMW M6 coupe. The chassis is built by Riley Technologies and features a tubular frame and all-carbon-fiber-body-work to keep the car both light and strong. The team had initially looked at bringing an M3 to the event; however it was felt that the superior aerodynamics of the slippery M6 coupe would be better suited for the long banked straights of Daytona. The power plant is an M Power 5.0 liter BMW V8 specially built to be both fast and reliable for the Rolex 24.
“Our biggest challenge is going to be staying out of trouble and running a smart race strategy so that we can be up front in the end, ” said Turner. “I know we have a great car, great drivers and a great team – it ‘s going to be all about putting it together. ”
The Turner team will also be debuting their new V8 powered GS class E92 M3 at the opening of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, previously called the Koni Challenge Series. The opening race is scheduled at Daytona on 1/29, the same weekend as the Rolex 24. The team has worked closely with its existing sponsors and technology partners to once again bring the best prepared BMW M3s.
Last year Turner Motorsport BMW M3s finished 3rd and 5th in the GS team championship, with Turner Motorsport driver Matt Bell taking 3rd in overall drivers points. Turner M3s mustered 9 podium finishes (the most ever for Turner), 3 wins, 5 poll position starts, and 14 top 5 finishes. Despite not taking the overall championship, and narrowly missing giving BMW the manufacturer ‘s championship by 1 point, 2009 was the most successful season since 2005, when Turner Motorsport, Bill Auberlen and Justin Marks scored 5 race victories.
Live TV coverage of the Rolex 24 at Daytona will be provided by SPEED TV on Saturday January 30 at 3:00 PM eastern and on Sunday January 31 at 7:00AM eastern. Tape delay coverage of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will also air on SPEED TV, with the time to be announced.