LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 24, 2004) – Bill Auberlen, of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., is frustrating everyone, but that doesn’t bother him.
Auberlen has put together a string of seven-straight professional race victories in three different series since late February, and goes for a record-tying fourth-straight SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car victory this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“I’m more focused than I’ve ever been,” Auberlen said on why he’s been so dominant on the track. “I’ve been training in a different way for this kind of racing and it’s obviously working out. I know all the cars that I’m driving as well as the socks I put on in the morning. I can absolutely minimize the setup time it takes to make them perfect. A lot of times I can even anticipate and tell the team what I think we should have right out of the box. And, we’re almost right on right out of the box. Two of the last three weekends we haven’t made any changes all weekend.
“The experience coupled with the speed I can generate is paying off. When you’re younger, you’re fast and aggressive, but you lack the experience. When you get older, you maybe have the experience, but not the speed. And, I am at some sort of neat time in my life where it’s all coming together. Physically I am very strong. Mentally I am maybe even stronger. [I have] the will and the desire to want to beat everybody who is ever in front of me. I want to win every single championship that is put in front of me. And, what’s weird about that is that it’s all paying off and the victories are coming one after the other. That’s not making other people real happy, but it’s making me happy.”
“Any time you win your mental edge goes up,” Auberlen added. “This is a game of confidence. And, any time I can bring my confidence up and at the same time knock other peoples down; that’s what I try to do. I try to do it on the track. I try to do it in the pits and the paddock. It’s kind of a game. Also, it doesn’t hurt to be in the best equipment you could ever be in. I am in Will Turner’s cars, which are proven winners. I’m in PTG cars, which are proven winners in every series they compete in. Yeah, maybe I think I’m wonderful right now, but ultimately it comes down to the car you’re in and that makes life a lot easier.”
Auberlen’s SCCA SPEED Touring Car string dates back to the 2003 season finale in Puerto Rico last October. He has been perfect thus far in 2004, winning Sebring (March 19) and Lime Rock Park (May 31) from the pole position to lead the Drivers’ Championship by a stout 20 points heading into Saturday’s Round Three race.
In addition to his SPEED Touring Car successes, Auberlen has won four-straight in Grand-Am GT competition, and took last weekend’s Grand-Am Cup ST class victory at Watkins Glen.
The coming races won’t be easy for Auberlen, though, as his No. 1 Turner Motorsports/H&R Springs BMW 325i gets heavier and heavier with R.E.W.A.R.D.S. weight, added to successful drivers after each event. This year, a win gains you an additional 75 lbs for the next race, meaning Auberlen’s BMW is a full 150 lbs heavier than some of the other BMWs he races against.
“I wish SCCA would have scheduled the tracks differently because going to some tracks hurts me a lot more than other tracks,” Auberlen said of having to deal with the REWARDS weight as the result of his wins. “If I would go with full weight at Lime Rock I probably fair a lot better than if I was at full weight at Road America. And, carrying a lot of weight at Mid-Ohio hurts terribly. I was here last year [Mid-Ohio] and we struggled a lot. We finished second, but it wasn’t a win. It’s all about where you can be strong with the REWARDS weight and trying to make the weight work for you. I mean, I put all the weight on the right side and it almost helps me. It’s all the luck of the draw. This year is going to be very tough.
“You’ve got to push harder. In your driving, you’ve got to try to be even more perfect. You’ve got to make zero mistakes and allow the other people to make two or three and try to capitalize on every one of them they make. I can’t out run them on the straightaway and I can’t out brake them. But, I can out ‘hound’ them. And, then make them give up either mentally or wait for them to make a little mistake and then go by.
Auberlen will shoot for his record-tying fourth-straight SPEED Touring Car victory when the green flag flies at 4:40 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, June 26 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as part of the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio event weekend. Live Timing & Scoring Presented by Cadillac will be available at www.world-challenge.com.
The SPEED Touring Car race will air at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, June 27 on SPEED Channel.
Link this article: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=72
Follow this weekend's action: http://www.world-challenge.com/2004/events/moh/