In the debut race appearance, The No. 96 aFe Power BMW M6 GT3 captures a solid fifth place finish in the short 2-hour “sprint” Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda at the 11-turn 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, CA. Turner Motorsport also captured valuable points from round three of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for both the No. 96 and No. 97 entries.
Bret Curtis took the green flag in the No. 96 aFe Power BMW from the fifth position in Sunday afternoon’s GTD/PC race which included 17 GTD entries and 7 PC entries. Curtis performed flawlessly to complete his hour long stint, holding position in fifth just outside the top three. Curtis’s swift pace and a perfect pit stop put co-diver Jens Kingmann in striking position for podium.
Klingmann exited pit lane in third after making up two positions in the pits to take the green flag just behind the leaders of the GTD class. Klingmann quickly settled into a quick pace on the heels of the No. 63 Ferrari slowly closing the gap to just under one second.
Slower lap traffic ultimately held Klingmann up, preventing him from closing the gap to second and reducing the lead over the fourth position Aston Martin. On the last lap, in turns nine and ten, the Aston Martin forced a pass on the No. 96 allowing two cars to get through.
Klingmann crossed the line after a hard fought two hour race in fifth position to capture solid points from round three of the WeatherTech Championship.
“Jens and I had a very strong run today, I am very happy with the results for our No. 96 aFe Power BMW,” said Bret Curtis. “After running inside the top three for much of the race, it’s too bad that slower lap traffic had to come between us and a top three result. Jen’s did a fantastic job behind the wheel so all in all, a great result.”
The No. 96 of Bret Curtis and Jens Klingmann secured the sixth place points position in GTD following their top-five finish in round three, just one point out of the top five for the Championship hunt.
The No. 97 IHG Rewards Club BMW of Michael Marsal and Markus Palttala finished twelfth after encountering a minor electrical issue early on in the race. The duo completed two resilient stints behind the wheel of their BMW M6 GT3 to battle their way back after losing several positions from their thirteenth place starting position.
Markus Palttala added, “It was a tough race for us. The team gave us a good car but we never recovered from going a lap down after the electronic issue. It’s frustrating because we had the pace to fight inside the top 5 and score a lot more points. Still, we were able to learn more about this new car so we’ll keep working to be back up front in Detroit.”
With their twelfth place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the No. 97 sits fourth in the GTD Championship point’s standings.
“It was a hard fought race for both the No. 96 and No. 97. I’m happy with the drivers and team’s performance and being able to walk away from round three with some valuable points. The new M6 GT3 has proven to be very strong so we are looking forward to the coming races.” said Will Turner.
The Turner BMWs will be back in action June 4th for the fourth round of the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at in the Motor City for the Belle Isle Grand Prix in Detroit, Michigan.