America’s most prolific BMW privateer team, Turner Motorsport, has racked up numerous race victories and championships, most recently the 2014 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona title with Dane Cameron.
Missing from that resume, though, is a victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Team owner Will Turner is looking to change that in this weekend’s 56th running of the classic.
“You can win races, you can win championships, but winning the Rolex 24 is entirely different,” said Turner, who will field the No. 96 Liqui Moly BMW M6 GT3 for Jens Klingmann, Martin Tomczyk, Don Yount and Mark Kvamme.
“You need luck; you need pace; you need the car; you need the drivers; you need the team. You need a little bit of everything. And even if you have all that, you can still get taken out in Turn 1 on the first lap, like we’ve seen happen a couple of years ago. It’s very difficult.”
Turner’s best Rolex 24 finish was fifth in GTD two years ago.
“This is our ninth Rolex 24, and I think we are more prepared than ever,” Turner said. “That’s mainly through the wisdom and experience of our crew. We’ve been running this so long we know what we have to do. Obviously, that doesn’t mean much, because anything can happen in this race. If you look at the entry list for this year, the teams and drivers are almost on a new level. There are no weak teams or weak cars. Back at the Roar, the lap times were all within a second, which again is amazing – and the BOP adjustments will make it even closer.
“We’re going to focus on staying out of trouble, and hoping we can be in the fight at the end.”
Fans expecting to see the familiar Turner Motorsport yellow and blue paint scheme will be in for a surprise at the Rolex 24. The team is sporting the red, white and blue of Liqui Moly, which is sponsoring the car in selected races this year.
“Even though it’s a German lubricant company, the red, white and blue of Liqui Moly makes us at home in the U.S.,” Turner said.
Otherwise, the team has yet to finalize its plans for the 2018 WeatherTech Championship season.
“It hasn’t been exactly determined exactly what we are going to do, but we will be around for the full season with Jens (Klingmann) in the car as the staple, fighting for the championship,” Turner said. “But the livery is going to change a little bit throughout the season, and it will be going to the yellow and blue when we’re not running with Liqui Moly.”