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03-16-2004 08:02 PM #1
TMS set for Sebring with Auberlen and crew
DEFENDING CHAMPION SET FOR SEBRING RETURN
Auberlen, Marks, Crescentini Open 2004 Season
SEBRING, FL - March 16, 2004 - Bill Auberlen, the SPEED Touring Car Champion of 2003, will take to the track in defense of his title beginning with this week’s events at Sebring International Raceway in central Florida. Following in his footsteps will be Justin Marks and Rookie of the Year contender Dino Crescentini. The trio will be driving BMW 325i sedans in the familiar colors of Turner Motorsport and H&R Springs.
Auberlen begins his second full season racing with Turner Motorsport. Last year during his run to the Championship he scored four wins – including the opening round last year at Sebring. Auberlen lists Sebring as one of his favorite tracks. Although the Turner Motorsport team has done their homework in the off-season he expects a strong challenge from other drivers in the field. The team concentrated their winter testing on the new Toyo race tires that the series has specified all cars must use.
Bill Auberlen, #1 Turner Motorsport/H&R Springs BMW 325i: “I’m excited to be back at Sebring competing with a BMW in the very capable hands of Turner Motorsport. We just got back from testing with the new Toyo RA-1 tires and all I can say is ‘Wow!’”
Pre-season testing yielded serious speed from all three drivers – Marks and Crescentini in particular. Marks is no stranger to BMWs having competed last season in a BMW M3 and racing a similar car in the Grand Am GT series (2nd place at Homestead a few weeks ago).
Team owner, and President of Turner Motorsport Inc, Will Turner will be calling the shots from behind the wall rather than behind the wheel for the 2004 Touring Car season. Turner will be concentrating his driving talent on the company’s Grand Am Cup effort. But that did not keep him from sitting out of the winter testing sessions.
“We were fortunate enough to get some track time in on the new tire; we learned a lot - some teams may get caught out if they didn’t get to test on the new tire. This is a totally new ballgame – the tires are sticky but they need a completely different car set up to make them drivable," says Turner.
The upcoming 2004 season will be Turner Motorsport’s seventh year in Touring Car competition. Together with H&R Springs, OZ Wheels, Red Line Oil, Piloti Driving Shoes, Sunoco Race Fuels, Centric Parts, Meguiar’s, and Hot Tomatoes we hope to bring home another Championship.
It all begins at Sebring International Raceway with practice on Wednesday, March 17, qualifying on Thursday and the race at 1:15pm on Friday, March 19. The SPEED Channel’s broadcast of the first round will be shown on Sunday, March 21 at 12pm ET. To keep up with the Turner Motorsport team visit www.tmsracing.com and view SPEED Touring Car information on www.world-challenge.com.
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