Turner Motorsport had a fantastic result last Thursday in the Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Sebring, which was round two of the series after competing at Daytona in late January. Robby Foley and Vin Barletta won the race in the #96 M4 GT4 and were followed in second by teammates Cameron Lawrence and Robert Megennis in the #95 M4 GT4.
It didn’t look like it was going to be a good race for the BMWs, as the GS class cars that the M4 GT4 competes were not able to qualify after the session was red flagged due to a crash. The GS grid was set based on points rankings, with the Auto Technic #25 car and the #26 Fast Track Racing car being the only two BMWs in the top ten.
Attrition is always a factor at Sebring, and half of the Michelin Pilot Challenge race was run under caution (22 of 41 laps). The Turner Motorsport cars managed to stay out of trouble and got their strategy right to be in the hunt at the end, with Robby Foley taking the lead from the Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG in the #96 M4 GT4 after a restart with 20 minutes left in the race. Cameron Lawrence followed suit in the #95 M4 GT4 to slot in behind Foley and held off a charging Robin Liddell in a Chevy Camaro GT4.R to give Turner a one-two finish.
The win was the first in Michelin Pilot Challenge for the G82 generation M4 GT4 and followed on the heels of Greg Liefooghe winning with the Cameron Racing M4 GT4 in the VP Racing Challenge race the weekend before. “Brilliant strategy from our guys,” said Foley after the race. “It looked like we might have been off strategy during the first couple yellows, but that was all to plan to play out later. You can never predict them exactly, but there’s a high probability of yellows here. This race played out like many before, and it’s a testament to our guys on the box. They’ve been doing this for so long that they’ve seen these scenarios a hundred times.”
The Stephen Cameron Racing #43 M4 GT4 of Greg Liefooghe and Sean Quinlan also finished in the top ten in ninth.
The next race for the Michelin Pilot Challenge series is at Laguna Seca Raceway in California on May 12th-14th. —David Haueter
[Photos courtesy LAT Images, David Haueter]