At the end of a long GRAND AM doubleheader at Barber Motorsports Park Turner Motorsport netted a top-five GT class finish in the Rolex Sports Car Series race, but came away from the afternoon's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race with only two damaged M3s.
Defending race winners Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana finished fifth in the two-and-three-quarter-hour Porsche 250 for the duo's first top-five finish of the young Rolex Sports Car season. Dalla Lana started the race from the 19th position after an off in the qualifying session the previous day denied him of a spot closer to the front of the 19-car GT field. He drove a strong opening stint before handing off to Auberlen who pushed the No. 94 M3 up to fifth at the checkered flag. Billy Johnson was suited up for the race, but did not drive.
Joining Rolex Sports Car GT competition in 2010, Turner Motorsport drivers finished sixth in their first race at Barber. Last year Auberlen and Dalla Lana took their second consecutive victory of the season at Barber in the No. 94 BMW M3.
The afternoon's two-and-one-half-hour Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race was over for the Turner crew almost as soon as it started. The combined field of 72 CTSCC cars confined within Barber's tight 2.3-miles found trouble immediately after the green flag waved. Dalla Lana, starting from 13th, and Marsal, starting from 20th after getting hit in qualifying, were right in the middle of the mess. Both Turner machines were involved, but only Dalla Lana had to pit for repairs to the right rear of the No. 96 M3. Five laps later, as the race went green, Marsal was caught up in a wreck that saw his No. 97 M3 take a huge impact as it was hit from behind and spun hard into the wall. He was taken to the infield care center and released. Boris Said did not get a chance to drive.
After replacing Dalla Lana in the No. 96 M3, Auberlen raced forward, reaching the third spot by lap 29. Sensing something amiss in the suspension he pitted on the next lap. The crew looked over the car, but nothing was seen in the short stop allowed by Barber's one-minute-forty-second lap times and not lose valuable track position. Auberlen charged back through the field, but with some 30 minutes remaining a tie rod end (damaged in the first lap of the race) broke forcing him to the pits for repairs and a