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Turner Reverses Course, Announces Full-Season GTD Return

Turner reverses course, confirms full-season GTD effort…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Despite initial plans to not return full-time in 2015, Turner Motorsport will in fact return to defend its GT Daytona championship in the full TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season with a new lineup.

“I have been working on putting this program together since the last race – I’m happy to say that everything just fell into place this past weekend – now my guys are going to have to work round the clock to get the car ready for Daytona,” said team owner Will Turner.

Finnish ace Markus Palttala will return, while Michael Marsal will take over as the Silver-rated co-pilot in the No. 97 BMW Z4 GT3.

“I’m especially happy to return to the Tudor Championship with Turner Motorsport and the BMW Z4 GTD No. 97,” Palttala said.

“I love racing in the U.S.; there are just so many great circuits and events. With everything I learned in 2014 I think Michael and I will have a good run this season and I am looking forward to another season with Turner Motorsport.”

The 2014 GTD champion Dane Cameron moves up to Action Express Racing’s Whelen-backed Corvette DP.

Still, the team has added an ace for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds in the form of Andy Priaulx at Daytona and Sebring.

Priaulx raced full-time with BMW Team RLL in GT Le Mans in 2014, but will shift to a full-season European Le Mans Series effort with Marc VDS Racing Team.

“Andy is a fantastic addition to the team; the IHG Rewards Club partnership is especially exciting for us,” Turner said.

“Now we need to decide on our fourth driver and our driver lineup will be complete for Daytona. Fast, experienced silvers are not easy to find but I am confident that we will choose the best option in the next few days.”

The team has also announced a two-car full season effort in Pirelli World Challenge, also with Z4 GT3s.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to NBCSports.com and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. jeff

    January 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    glad to see them back

    • Jason

      January 5, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      NO way that sucks. Will they not do PWC now?

      • Tim

        January 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm

        You clearly didn’t read the article.

        “The team has also announced a two-car full season effort in Pirelli World Challenge, also with Z4 GT3s.”

      • Jeff

        January 5, 2015 at 12:51 pm

        Last line of the article…
        “The team has also announced a two-car full season effort in Pirelli World Challenge, also with Z4 GT3s.”

      • Georg

        January 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        Yes, what terrible news. I might as well stop following motorsport altogether now that Turner showed that they actually want to do Tudor. (Sarcasm, just to make sure)

  2. racerx_190

    January 5, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    BOP influenced decision?

    • Bakkster

      January 5, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Potentially, the BMW did drop 50kgs for the Roar. Money probably played the bigger part, though, since Turner won the championship. Maybe one of the drivers only agreed to bring enough money because of the BoP?

      • Georg

        January 5, 2015 at 4:43 pm

        Or they just got the package together only now. BoP definitely got better for them but as Will Turner stated on the team’s press release (left out in this article), the car is still heavier than last year in Daytona. When you talk about a program costing 2-3M, I don’t think 1 BoP change makes or breaks the deal.

    • Babe

      January 7, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      No. BMW had zero interest in supporting or funding a WC effort.

  3. ken

    January 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I think that NASCAR may help out financially what’s the decision.

    • Jaguar4

      January 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Where are your facts?

  4. Matty

    January 5, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Will Turner, I know it’s a difficult burden with the number of events and cost, but I greatly thank you for changing your mind and giving it a go in 2015!

  5. Kirk

    January 5, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Woo hoo!!! The Turner Motorsports girls are back! Uh, er, I mean it’s great that Turner Motorsports is back.

  6. Issac

    January 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Didn’t see that coming. Probably more behind this than we’ll ever hear about.

  7. Dan

    January 5, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    My moneys on BMW paying for this, they Probably want a presence in GTD and turner is the only viable option. The Vitaforone BMW isn’t on the list so i wonder if it will appear at the the race (doubt it) and a full season was highly unlikely. Given the way turner was treated last season and his comments during and after the season i doubt he was planning on this since october.

    • Maurice

      January 5, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Why? Why do you doubt he was planning it since October? HELLO, his team won GTD!! Why wouldn’t he come back if things worked out where the team could continue in GTD??? It’s called Turner Motorsports/ Racing– they race sports cars!!!!

      • Dan

        January 6, 2015 at 6:55 am

        If you bothered to read the whole thing rather than clearly getting but hurt after the first sentence you’d know why. Given the cirdumstances this is more than a little suspect but like Issac said will probably never hear the real reason behind this move.

        • Maurice

          January 6, 2015 at 7:45 am

          No, I read the whole thing. Like the part where Turner himself said he was planning since October. You seem to know his thoughts and actions better than he does. You float a conspiracy theory with absolutely no evidence or support for your theory. A little suspect???? What’s suspect about a Motorsports team participating in Motorsports?????

          • Dan

            January 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm

            There’s plenty of evidence your just choosing to ignore it like alot of people on this site do. I have more evidence but since you’ll clearly just ignore it there’s no point. follow blindly if you want to but ill continue to think and wonder.

    • Babe

      January 7, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Dan is correct. BMW has zero desire to support WC. If Turner wanted money and support, it had to be in Tudor.

  8. Mike

    January 6, 2015 at 4:56 am

    Great news but not having Dane Cameron behind the wheel won’t help their chances to repeat as champs in GTD. No disrespect to Palttala but Dane is a good pilot that’s not going to be there in the blue and yellow rig. But welcome back.

  9. bjones

    January 6, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Give it a break people. They were waiting on money from a certain driver, PWC was a certain thing. A Tudor run was in the works when
    the money came through, It appears it did. Nothing more to it, Its just racing no money no race.

    • Babe

      January 7, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      And the driver is named BMW.

  10. steve

    January 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    This is GREAT news!!! Thank you so much Mr. Turner for working your a** off to make this happen!! I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say it was a bummer when we heard your team wasn’t coming back to the Tudor Championship. Good luck and we’ll see you in Daytona!!

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