TURNER BMW TUNED UP FOR 12 HOURS OF SEBRING
Amesbury, MA. – March 16th, 2015 — Turner’s GTD program turns to the second round of the 2015 Tudor United SportsCar Championship after the extended break following the season kick off at Daytona in January. Full season drivers Michael Marsal and Markus Palttala anchor a familiar driver lineup.
The Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida marks the second stop on the calendar in the four round Patron North American Endurance Cup adding significance to the already important endurance contest. With 17 out of the 47 entries listed under the GTD class, competition will be at its peak.
With the twelfth place finish in the 24 Hour at Daytona in the rear view mirror Turner Motorsport has focused on preparation and set up for the extremely unique Sebring International Raceway, testing at the historic 3.74 mile 17-turn just several weeks ago.
“Testing at Sebring was crucial for us to get the very best set up possible on the No. 97 BMW Z4,” commented Michael Marsal. “We are really looking forward to this race and hopefully walking away with some valuable championship points. I think we have a strong package for this complex circuit, as was proven last year, so it should be a fun weekend. ”
In 2014, the No. 94 GTD BMW Z4 of Dane Cameron, Markus Palttala and Paul Dalla Lana qualified on pole for Turner Motorsport’s first-ever start in the 12 Hour. The No. 94 went on to lead the GTD class for much of the 12 hour race. On the team’s last pit stop a seized right rear wheel knocked the car off the lead lap and out of the lead to finish a disappointing seventh position.
For 2015, Marsal and Palttala will team up with Andy Priaulx and Boris Said in the No. 97 IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 for the 12 Hour endurance race. The familiar driver lineup will reunite for the second time this season after a strong performance at Daytona.
“I don’t think I could ask for a better endurance driver lineup going into Sebring. The combined experience of Said, Palttala, Priaulx and Marsal is truly impressive,” said Will Turner. “All of them have a long endurance racing resume with many wins and podiums. I am grateful that our partnership with the IHG Rewards Club has allowed us to secure such a great lineup for these endurance events.”
In addition to the driver lineup IMSA’s recently released BoP (Balance of performance) will play into this weekend’s strategy. The Turner Z4 will see an 88/lb. weight increase as well as a significant 19mm engine restrictor reduction.
Team Strategist Don Salama added, “Sebring is a much better track for our Z4 than Daytona because Sebring rewards the great handling aspects of the BMW. However a 12 hour race is run by being reliable and staying out of trouble.”
“If we do and stay on the lead lap with 2-3 hours to go, we have hopefully have a competitive fight for the win,” Salama commented. “My concern is that we still believe that Balance of Performance adjustment by IMSA after Daytona will favor some of the other manufacturers.”
On track action will kick off on Thursday for testing. Tudor Championship practice and qualifying will take place on Friday, March 20th. Tune into IMSA.com for GTD qualifying at 3:15pm ET.
The Mobil 1 63rd Annual 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida will take the green flag on Saturday, March 21st at 10:30 am ET. Watch the two hour opening broadcast on Fox Sports 1 from 10:30am-12:30pm ET as well as the continued race broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and IMSA.com.
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