When Will Turner announced that his Turner Motorsport team would step up to the Rolex Sports Car Series with a BMW M6 GT class program in 2010, it seemed like just a matter of time before the multiple-championship winning organization would be winning races in Grand-Am's top series. That proved to be true when Turner scored a debut victory at Mid-Ohio in June, backed up by a second place in July at Daytona. Growing the team to support both a two-car Continental Tire Challenge effort and the Rolex program hasn't hurt the Continental Tire effort, either, as the No. 97 Turner Motorsports M3 is currently second in the championship with six podiums and two wins.
That growth is set to continue, as Turner Motorsport announced this week that his team will grow to a two-car Rolex Sports Car Series GT class program in 2011. The renowned BMW tuner will also make the switch from campaigning the M6 bodywork to the M3 in 2011.
“The M3 is much closer to the brand identity for Turner Motorsport and our customers, so we're making the change in the off-season to the M3,” said Turner. “The M6 is excellent, particularly from an aerodynamic point of view. But we think we can generate a lot of performance with the M3, just like we do with our M3‘s in Continental Tire Challenge and on the street for that matter, so we are excited about making the change for next year.”
The full driver lineup for the program has not yet been finalized, but Turner said he will build on the current program.
“We had Boris [Said], Billy [Auberlen], Joey [Hand], and Paul [Dalla Lana] together to start the year at Daytona and it was pretty much a dream team,” said Turner. “It was the first time out for us in the 24 with a brand-new car and we were able to learn a lot and finish the race. But we didn't get the result we wanted so hopefully we can get lock in strong driver lineups with both cars and start 2011 off right.”
“Since before we even unloaded at Daytona, there has been a ton of interest in this GT program. But we wanted to walk before we ran. Even with everything we've done to date, we are still rookies in Rolex! But now that we've won and have more experience in the series, we are in a much better position to not only grow, but also to be competitive with both cars next year. We've got some exciting things coming together and hopefully we'll be able to make some announcements before the tire test.”