Dane Cameron and Markus Palltala in the #94 Turner Motorsport Z4 dominated the GTD class at Road America, scoring their third class win of the season. Dirk Müller and John Edwards in the #56 BMW Team RLL Z4 finished second in the GTLM class, putting the Z4 on the podium for the first time since the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race in May.
Car #56 was damaged by debris from an early-race incident. Edwards pitted for repairs and for the handoff to Müller, who clawed his way to second. He finished there, holding off a late race challenge from Jon Bomarito in the Viper that he shared with Kuno Wittmer. The GTLM class win went to Pierre Kaffer and Giancarlo Fisichella in the Risi Competizione Ferrari.
Bill Auberlen and Andy Priaulx finished eighth in class, set back by a long pit stop on Priaulx’s stint when the car had to be backed up to avoid running over an air hose, and then set back further by losing positions on late race restarts. There were six caution periods over the course of the 2 ¾ hour race.
Team principal Bobby Rahal said “After lap two or three the day did not look like it was going to be a good one. The No. 56 Z4 was wounded aerodynamically and it slowed us a little bit on the straights. Dirk did a great job and he was able to hold off the Viper at the end. The Ferrari was able to pull away from us on the long straights. Congratulations to them for the win. We are really pleased with second place. We’re back on the podium.”
Palltala led the GTD class from the start, inheriting the pole after the #07 Aston Martin that had won it could not start because of an incident in the morning warm up session. The Turner team was able to hold onto its lead after the handoff to Cameron, who held off a late-race challenge from the second-in-class Porsche driven by Leh Keen. While the Z4 dominated, Cameron noted afterward that it is down on power, and said “It might have looked easy because we were up front for most of the day, but we were under fire. We tried to maintain some sort of space and keep the Porsches behind us.”
TUSC competition resumes at VIR on August 24.—Brian S. Morgan