TURNER BMW OF MARSAL AND CAMERON TAKE HOME UNFORGETTABLE WIN AT LIME ROCK PARK
Amesbury, MA. – July 27th, 2015 -- Michael Marsal and Dane Cameron capture a much needed GTD class victory to stand atop the podium in Turner’s “homecoming “ race this Saturday at Lime Rock Park for round seven of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
The driver duo brought the No. 97 IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 across the finish line just 3.505 seconds ahead of No. 33 Dodge Viper to score the first victory of the season for Turner and the first TUDOR Championship victory ever for driver Michael Marsal.
The victory came after more than 24 hours of uncertainty after the No. 97 was heavily damaged in Friday morning’s practice session. The team worked through the night to pull off miracle repairs to get the No. 97 on the grid in time for Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix.
Starting from ninth position for the two hour and forty minute contest, Michael Marsal quickly settled in behind the wheel of the freshly repaired blue and yellow BMW. In the opening hour, Marsal was able to make up several positions before the full service pit stop and driver change.
“The car felt awesome out there. The momentum and high speed corners of Lime Rock really play into the strengths of our Z4,” said Michael Marsal. “I really have to thank the entire Turner team for getting this car so well prepared to be so competitive today. It’s truly amazing they were able to get it back out here for the morning warm up and race.”
Despite an impressive pit stop and driver change the No. 97 of Cameron was passed by the leading No. 48 to go down one lap. Cameron pushed to regain lap position ultimately getting past the leader to rejoin the lead lap.
With just over one hour remaining, Cameron moved into the top five to pass the leading GTD class cars after most of the field elected for quick fuel stops.
As the leading GTD cars entered pit lane, Cameron continued on, building a twenty six second gap over the GTD field.
With fuel economy a concern for the team, Cameron worked to conserve fuel while still trying to maintain the lead over the hard charging No. 33 Dodge Viper. With the clock counting down inside the final twenty minutes, fuel concerns became palpable as Don Salama, team strategist worked to stretch remaining fuel to the checkered flag.
“Don (Salama) really kept us on the edge of our seats the entire race. Not only was this a nerve racking lead up to the race but the entire race as well!” said Will Turner. “Michael (Marsal) had a fantastic first stint to keep the car on the lead lap even after being spun by a PC and Dane (Cameron) did such a great job managing fuel and pace. Really could not ask for a better performance from the entire team.”
Cameron, in full fuel conservation mode, saw his lead diminishing to just six seconds over second place as with the clock ticked down to the ten minute mark.
In the end, Cameron crossed the start finish line with the white flag waving as the entire team stood on pit wall in eagerness, watching Cameron push through big bend, down No Name Straight and through the chicane.
With the No. 33 Viper just 3.5 seconds off Cameron’s bumper the No. 97 IHG Rewards Club BMW crossed the line to take the checkered flag and home track victory.
“We were running (fuel) mappings that we had never really run to see what it could save. I was also trying to try lift the pedal as much as I could,” commented Dane Cameron. “We just focused on the pace I needed to run and the laps I needed to run. We got a bit of a gap, so I could focus on the numbers that I needed, and save fuel to where the guys in the stand were happy. It was making me pretty uncomfortable, but luckily, we had saved enough during the first part of the stint to go as long as we did here at Lime Rock”
Watch the coverage of somewhat unexpected win on the home track for Turner Motorsport on the IMSA Tudor Championship YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/UnitedSportsCar.
The No. 97 BMW of Marsal and Palttala will be back in action in just two weeks at Road America for round eight of the Tudor Championship. Be sure to follow the team as then attempt for their third straight win at America’s national park of speed.