01-24-2013, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Turner Motorsport Announces 2013 Rolex 24 Driver Lineup
For a second consecutive year Turner Motorsport will open the GRAND-AM season with an outstanding driver lineup at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in its two GT class BMW M3s.
Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana will anchor the effort for a fourth consecutive year and, like last season; the 2013 Rolex 24 lineup will feature more BMW drivers from all over the world. Billy Johnson, Michael Marsal and Boris Said return and will be joined by Gunter Schaldach. BMW Motorsport will place two drivers on the squad this year.
The newest BMW Motorsport driver, Maxime Martin, of Brussels, Belgium, will be making his North American racing debut at the Rolex 24. The 26-year old finished second in the 2012 BMW Sport Trophy after a strong season racing a BMW Z4 GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series and a BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters.
Triple World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx, of Guernsey, will also join Turner Motorpsort at the Rolex 24. Currently driving in the DTM for BMW Motorsport, Priaulx has a raft of GT racing experience. He co-drove to a win at the Nurburgring 24 in 2005 and a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011.
“Last year we assembled a very strong BMW driver lineup for the Rolex 24,” said Will Turner. “Unfortunately mechanical problems with both cars made for poor results, but the team rallied during the remainder of the season. Two wins during a nine-race streak of top-five finishes immediately after Daytona carried Paul and the team to third in GT points. I want to thank BMW Motorsport again this year for their support and assistance with Maxime and Andy.”
The 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona will take the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 26th. The race will be televised on SPEED television.
Bill Auberlen: Bill Auberlen is one of the most successful BMW drivers in the world driving BMW cars in more races than any other driver in the world. He has raced prototype and GT cars for BMW Motorsport at tracks from Le Mans to the Nürburgring, Silverstone and Adelaide. Auberlen co-drove a BMW M3 to the GT class win at the Rolex 24 in both 1997 and 1998.
Paul Dalla Lana: Paul Dalla Lana finished third in Rolex Sports Car Series GT driver points in 2012.He won the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport driver’s championship with Turner Motorsport. He also bested 235 BMW drivers to win the 2011 BMW Sports Trophy for the most successful privateer BMW driver in the world.
Billy Johnson: Billy Johnson began his professional racing career as one of the first group of Formula BMW USA junior scholarship drivers in 2004. Johnson co-drove with Paul Dalla Lana in five GT races for Turner Motorsport last year with a best finish of second at Watkins Glen six-hour race.
Michael Marsal: Michael Marsal ran his third full CTSCC season with Turner in 2012 (co-driving with Boris Said) and made a number of starts in the GT car. He finished second in GS points in 2010 with co-driver Joey Hand.
Maxime Martin: Maxime Martin finished runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship in the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series and also enjoyed success in the ADAC GT Masters. In 2013 he will contest all ten ALMS races in the new BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE.
Andy Priaulx: Andy Priaulx won the World Touring Car Championship in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2011 he was a member of BMW Motorsport’s Intercontinental Le Mans Cup team. He co-drove the BMW M3 GT to a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring and a third place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Boris Said: Boris Said is one of the most recognizable drivers in the world. Said co-drove a BMW M3 to the GT class win at the Rolex 24 in both 1997 and 1998. Said became the first American to win the 24 Hours of Nurburgring with his BMW Motorsport drive in 2005.
Gunter Schaldach: Gunter Schaldach entered his Rookie season in GT in 2010 finishing 5th in team points and 8th in driver points with two 2nd place trophies. 2011 brought another two 2nd place finishes but a disappointing 10th in driver points after receiving zero points in Road America after loosing his brakes and "flying" over the wall. 2012 was the first time for him running a full season in CTSCC with a best finish of 4th.