IMSA | Turner Motorsport Shines at the Circuit of the Americas
The penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship went well for BMW with the BMW M6 GT3 of Turner Motorsport driven by Jens Klingmann and Bret Curtis taking its second victory of the season. For BMW Team RLL, consistency was the name of the game and after a difficult start to the weekend, it was able to score fourth and seventh places in the GTLM class.
Victory for Turner Motorsport
For Turner Motorsport it was almost the perfect weekend. The car setup was working well for both drivers and the conditions suited them similarly. Curtis, who was first up in the car, drove solidly for his first stint and handed the car over to Klingmann. Whilst weaker in the slow corners, the BMW M6 GT3 was supreme in the faster bends, giving it an overall advantage over the pack. When Klingmann took the wheel he managed to pass six cars in the first seven laps of his stint.
By the third round of pit stops the Turner Motorsport duo were in third, and thanks to quick, efficient work by the team meant they were able to leap-frog the leading pair and ultimately took victory by 15.7 seconds. The win is the second for the team this season with the first having come at Mosport, California, back in July.
Curtis said; “Jens did such a good job. We had an advantage in the high speed turns that just stayed consistent throughout the race, and in the low speed turns we just hung on in there the best we could and were fairly even with the other cars. It was so incredibly hot today, but when I passed off the car to Jens I knew we would have a good chance. This second win just shows what the team and the BMW M6 GT3 are capable of.”
BMW Team RLL in Solid Performance
Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner in the number 25 BMW M6 GTLM started the race back in seventh place on the grid, meaning they had a lot of work to do to make progress. It didn’t start well though; early on in the race as cars jostled for position, Werner made contact with another car and was awarded a drive-through penalty as a result. Good fortune did follow, and thanks to a series of yellow flag periods Auberlen and Werner were able to catch back up to the field. This enabled them to ultimately work through the pack to finish fourth.
Auberlen commented; “I don’t think you are ever happy with fourth, but we moved up and we moved up solidly. The team did a great job. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, as we have this new car and it doesn’t always work out how you want it to. But we will always keep our heads up.”
In the number 100 car of John Edwards and Lucas Luhr a poor qualifying and trouble with the car’s set up put paid to any ambitions of a strong race. Dogged by understeer and a lack of overall pace, the pair could only manage seventh overall, having completed 73 laps of the 3.4 mile circuit after two hours and forty minutes.
The final round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, the 10-hour Petit Le Mans, takes place at Road Atlanta on October 1st.