IMSA Spotlight: Will Turner
Owner: Turner Motorsport
How has the transition gone going to the M6 this year considering this is a brand-new car with a lot of new technology?
“Running a new car and being first to run the car, and knowing it is a brand new car, I set my expectations low. Not because I didn’t have faith in BMW Motorsport’s ability to build a good new car right out of the box, but you don’t know what you don’t know.
“The team didn’t know the car, we didn’t know what we were going to get. We didn’t know what we were going to get, we didn’t know how developed it would be, and it turns out that everything has exceeded expectations with reliability.
“We’ve already shown in the [Rolex] 24 and in the 12 [Hours of Sebring] that these cars are reliable.
“All in all I’m optimistic and I’m happy we switched to this car because the drivers, especially the gentlemen drivers, smile a lot more when they get out of the car. And that’s important to me because a happy gentleman driver makes our world go round.”
The support from BMW has increased this year too, right?
“BMW showed an interest in making sure the first two cars were successful, but it was kind of self serving in a way because remember we were the “guinea pigs” and they were learning from us as much as we were learning from them.
“So it worked out really well in that regard. We both got a lot out of it. They got data from us, we got knowledge on how to run the cars from them. These cars are different from the Z4.
“With the Z4, I think the team could operate independently without BMW’s help. These cars require a lot more BMW presence every weekend. We could not take these cars and race them without BMW’s engineering and support throughout the weekend which is different for me.”
Heading into Watkins Glen, what are your expectations?
“We did test at Watkins Glen. The drivers love the new pavement. It might have taken a little character away, but it also just made a great racetrack even better. There’s a lot of grip there.
“Our cars felt good there. They were faster there, but everybody who was testing with us was faster there too. I don’t know how it’ll shake out, but Watkins Glen should be a good track for this car. It seems to suit the characteristics of a longer wheelbase.”
If you were IMSA President for one day, what would you change in the series if anything?
“I’d probably think about that and change that on any given weekend. But I think in general, if you see now, the GTD has a great car count. Car count is high, and I didn’t expect it to be this high.
“I expected some drop off. I think it’s the expense of running GT3 cars in IMSA is still on the upper-end of expenses, especially compared to other series that are more sprint series. It’s a big dependency.
“The racing seems really good. We’re getting the BoP closer than it has been for all the cars. But if I could change anything it’s trying to cut some experience for the teams.”
Any track you’d like to see added to the calendar?
“I like this season’s schedule, so I’m optimistic. If they keep this schedule for next year, it’ll be a good schedule.”