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Turner Commits to Daytona; Confirms Rolex 24 Lineup

Maxime Martin, Jens Klingmann, Jesse Krohn, Justin Marks confirmed for Rolex 24…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Turner Motorsport has entered next weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, confirming Wednesday that Maxime Martin, Jens Klingmann, Jesse Krohn and Justin Marks will drive its BMW M6 GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

BMW factory drivers Martin and Klingmann, along with BMW Junior Krohn were all part of the Will Turner-led squad’s 2016 Daytona assault, which featured two cars.

Martin and Krohn teamed with Michael Marsal and Markus Palttala for a fifth place class finish in GT Daytona and will be looking to improve on that result.

Former Rolex 24 class winner Marks, meanwhile, completes the lineup alongside the BMW-supported pilots, in his first time back with the team since 2005.

“We are looking forward to being back at Daytona for our eighth race start for the Rolex 24,” Turner said. “Although we had a strong finish last year, Daytona has still remained that one race that we dream about winning.

“I think that with a full season under our belts with the M6 GT3, we have enough experience and familiarity with the car to do really well if we can avoid trouble and any mechanical issues.”

Turner admitted the Daytona-only deal came together late, following the withdrawal of the team’s two 2016 funded drivers, Marsal and Bret Curtis, who have both put their racing programs on hold.

Its plans in the WeatherTech Championship beyond Daytona have still yet to be defined.

The Turner BMW will be one of an expected 27 entries in the GTD class at Daytona, which will feature a record nine different manufacturers.

The full entry list for the race is due out later today.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Mark Twain

    January 18, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I will pay $5 to race for them this season!

    • Olly

      January 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Oh yeah? Well I’ve got 5€ to race for them! 😂

      • Mark Twain

        January 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm

        I’ll step it up to $5 for each race!

        • Olly

          January 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm

          Plus free food for the fans!

        • Olly

          January 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm

          Actually, take my 5 cents, make it 5.05 for each race, deal? 😂

          • Mark Twain

            January 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm

            I’m not sure why they wouldn’t agree to this deal, this is good money right here!

          • Olly

            January 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm

            Exactly!! 😂

  2. jason

    January 18, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    My guess is that Justin Marks is paying the bill for this one?

  3. David Chaste

    January 18, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    More like $500 000 might get you through a 3rd of the season. Considering they won the championship in 2014.

    Other teams that haven’t won a title or any NAEC races might give you more mileage for that sum.

    • Bakkster

      January 18, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      $500k might get you through Daytona. Season budgets at north of $2M.

      • karlt

        January 18, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        Season budget at north of $3m, just for clarification

  4. Rose

    January 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Surprised they kept Jens after he wrecked both team cars then threw a temper tantrum in the pits at Petit Le Mans

    • Olly

      January 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      He probably profusely apologized to Turner, had a beer and got over it.

    • JeffB

      January 20, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I was thinking the exact same thing. Olly’s probably right. Sort it out and move on.

      I’m just glad to see them on the grid. Hopefully Sebring will follow.

  5. Ozzeh

    January 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    That’s an all pro lineup.

    • Bakkster

      January 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Justin Marks is fast, but he’s also a legitimate business owner who also has family wealth. He’s almost certainly not being paid (unlike Scott Pruett or Katherine Legge).

      • Susafan

        January 18, 2017 at 7:24 pm

        Very interesting to hear that. I thought Marks is a sneaky silver and Turner bankrolled the team so he could stay in for the season.

        • Bandit

          January 18, 2017 at 8:13 pm

          He is a sneaky silver, a very good Am for sure (on the level of a Thieriet, Canal, or DHH), but an Am nonetheless

      • The Ghost of Buckshot Jones

        January 19, 2017 at 10:29 am

        Interesting that he maintained his Silver status for 2017, what with the Xfinity series win last year.

  6. David Chaste

    January 18, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Bmw probably chipped in some, because they want to be represented. But most real amateurs have figured out that the M6’s lumbering physique is not the most competitive GT3 platform. Especially for the fee a team like Turner commands.

    • Thomas

      January 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      So that’s why the car has been so successful in Europe?

      • Susafan

        January 18, 2017 at 7:13 pm

        It has been succesful with all-pro lineups.

        In Europe most Ams run either a Huracan or Ferrari, because it suits their needs way better than the german cars, while also being more prestigous

    • Rennsport4.4tV8

      January 18, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      The car is definitely a competitive platform with one of the best power trains on the track. The car has been successful in Europe and Asia. RLL managed to drop the ball every time they had speed and Turner did alright last year in a few events. So here it has not looked spectacular, but the car’s first year was definitely a success.

    • JeffB

      January 20, 2017 at 11:17 am

      So matter how lumbering, in this day and age the BOP can always be adjusted to make anything competitive, so performance really shouldn’t be that much of a factor these days.

  7. Susafan

    January 18, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    If more ams leave GTD will be in bad shape. Relying on factory involvement killed the ALMS and I don’t think factories are as interested in GTD class wins as in overall wins at Spa, Bathurst and the Nürburgring. Stephane Ratel will keep a close eye on this development as well.

    • Andy Flinn

      January 19, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Susafan, it will be interesting to see what happens if (when?) Shank (Acura) and Gentilozzi (Lexus) sort their programs and start locking out the GTD podiums.

      I like both teams. However, if that happens, I don’t think it would be good for GTD. Ultimately, we’d probably end up with another 2016 GS class.

      It will also be interesting to see when (if?) these two manufacturers offer cars to privateers.

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