Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley in the #96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 finished fifth in the GTD class in a weather-shortened IMSA WeatherTech Series race at Lime Rock Park on July 17. The race, scheduled for 2 ¾ hours, was halted after 72 minutes because of lightning in the area. Cars sat on pit road until the checker was thrown when it became apparent that the lightning would not clear the area in time for a restart.
The #96 car had started seventh and had moved up to fifth when the race was stopped. GTD winners Ross Gunn and Roman DeAngelis in the #23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 took over the points lead, demoting Foley and Auberlen to second.
The abrupt end to the race capped a difficult day for the Turner team. Earlier in the day, Foley and Vin Barletta in the #96 Turner M4 GT4 had finished eighth in the Grand Sport class in the two-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race, while their teammates Bill Auberlen and Dillon Machavern in car #95 finished sixteenth after falling back with a late-race mechanical problem.
A third M4 GT4, the #52 Auto Technic car driven by Elivan Goulart and Attilio Albani, finished eleventh in class. The win went to Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing in the #56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4. Jan Heylen, who finished third in the #16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport that he shared with Ryan Hardwick, moved into a tie for the GS points lead with Auberlen and Machavern.
Will Turner said, “This weekend leaves me thinking about what could have been, but that’s balanced by the fact that we are still tied for the Grand Sport points lead and second in GT Daytona standings. I will not count this one as one of my top ten, but, really, every weekend we are racing is still a good weekend. It was great to see all the Turner fans that showed up to support us, you guys and girls are the best!”
IMSA competition resumes at Road America on August 5–8.—Brian Morgan
[Photo of Turner #96 M6 GT3 courtesy Turner Motorsport/Sam Cobb. Photos of Turner #96 M4 GT4 and Auto Technic #52 M4 GT4 courtesy BMW Motorsport.]