Bill Auberlen says an attitude change from himself and Turner Motorsport has helped put them back in victory lane after lengthy dry spells.
Auberlen and co-driver Robby Foley claimed the team’s first GT Daytona class win in more than a year in Sunday’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, following a dominant run by the blue-and-yellow BMW M6 GT3.
The veteran BMW driver earned his 59th career IMSA victory, putting him only one win away from tying all-time leader Scott Pruett as the winningest driver in the sanctioning body’s 50-year history.
While initially focused on breaking Pruett’s record, Auberlen admitted he initially got caught up in the hype after going winless for the last year-and-a-half.
“I think it was [the focus] for the last year because we were so close,” he told Sportscar365. “Now I’m going to put that away.
“I think the wins will come when we just do our job like we need to do.
“We have a great car in the BMW M6 GT3, a great teammate. I think we sometimes lost faith that we weren’t the fast guys and now we know we’re a force to be reckoned with.”
Auberlen and Foley combined to lead all but two laps in the two-hour and 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship contest, in a dominant showing for the Will Turner-led team.
The win has elevated Auberlen and Foley to third in the GTD points standings, 28 points behind championship leaders Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman of Meyer Shank Racing.
“Will said, ‘Let’s go for the championship. Let’s try to think about something different.’ There’s something to that,” Auberlen said of the change of focus.
“We’ve switched gears and now we’re seemingly on a roll here.
“We should’ve, could’ve would’ve won a lot of races this year and didn’t and had a lot of bad luck. The luck seems to be going our way a little bit.
“The Turner team deserved better than what we were getting. They should have had wins and podiums all along.
“We just had some bad luck breaking parts which don’t break, which is weird.
“Will puts in a big effort when he doesn’t have to. He’s always involved. The team have been pretty much flawless all year so we cannot blame any of them and Robby has been perfect all year.”
Foley: CTMP Had Full Focus on GTD Effort
CTMP marked the first event of the season where Foley and Turner elected not to also participate in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race, which had its pros and cons, according to Foley.
“I don’t think it makes a huge difference,” Foley said. “Honestly the cars are quite different to drive. You adapt quickly between GT4 and GT3.
“Honestly for sure we have more time for debriefs and things like that; it’s not quite hectic.
“But from our side, sometimes you get an advantage with the GT4 car in learning how the track changes and stuff like that.
“I’m always down to race as much as I can but for sure there was a focus on everything GTD this weekend.”
Foley said they are planning to still take part in additional Pilot Challenge races later this year in its BMW M4 GT4 but with an exact schedule not yet defined.
“That’s the plan to do a few more races,” he said. “It just has to line up.
“We think we’ll do Lime Rock as it’s the team’s home race and a place that Will is super passionate about. So we’ll be there.”