Foley and Barletta journey new BMW to guide Turner Motorsport MPC sweep at Sebring
Robby Foley took the lead after a restart with slightly greater than 20 minutes remaining within the Alan Jay Automotive Community 120 at Sebring Worldwide Raceway, and his No. 96 Turner Motorsport teammate Cameron Lawrence adopted him house to finish a 1-2 end total and within the Grand Sport (GS) class for Turner and the brand new BMW M4 GT4 (G82).
Vin Barletta ran the primary 47 minutes of the two-hour contest in Turner’s No. 96 BMW earlier than handing off to Foley in a inexperienced flag pit cease. The timing of the stops labored effectively, as a result of as different groups’ methods performed out throughout a sequence of full-course cautions, Foley discovered himself operating second and in place to assault chief Christian Szymczak (No. 72 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT GT4).
“Good technique from our guys,” stated Foley after his fourth profession victory in Michelin Pilot Problem competitors. “It appeared like we’d have been off technique through the first couple yellows, however that was all to plan to play out later. You’ll be able to by no means predict them precisely, however there’s a excessive chance of yellows right here. This race performed out like many earlier than, and it’s a testomony to our guys on the field. They’ve been doing this for therefore lengthy that they’ve seen these eventualities 100 instances.”
Foley handed Szymczak with 22 minutes left on the race clock, then held on via one remaining restart to win by 0.601 seconds over Turner’s No. 95 entry shared by Lawrence and Robert Megennis. Robin Liddell rallied from seventh to 3rd within the closing laps within the No. 71 Insurgent Rock Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.
It was the primary race win in Michelin Pilot Problem motion for the G82-generation of the legendary BMW M3, and the second for Barletta, for whom Foley serves as a mentor and driving coach.
Barletta famous that he’s benefitting from additionally competing for Turner within the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Problem, a sequence of dash races for GT4 sedans and LMP3 prototypes. The VP Racing Problem was in motion at Sebring final weekend.
“The place I’m, with Robby teaching me, each lap is essential at this level to get expertise and push myself to enhance as a driver,” Barletta stated. “It’s very helpful.
“I simply tried to remain clear,” he added. “I really feel I did my job and we had nice pit stops by the staff. There was quite a lot of stuff happening on the market at present, and Robby had the tempo on the finish when it counted.”
Foley fell again on the previous adage that observe place is king.
“I’m undecided we had the quickest automobile, however I do know we had a quick automobile when it counted,” he stated. “The brand new automobile for us takes slightly longer to come back in, and you actually need to be aggressive along with your tires below yellow. So, I used to be able to go for each restart. I don’t assume I had quite a lot of tempo on the fellows behind, so it was a matter of opening up slightly hole on that first lap. That was the distinction for me.”
Late cross places Lewis and Block again in victory lane with No. 5 Alfa Romeo in TCR
The Touring Automobile (TCR) class win went to Florida-based KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering. Driver Tim Lewis made his transfer to the lead within the No. 5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR RS3 after a number of corners of intense side-by-side racing with Bryan Herta Autosport driver Robert Wickens – pulling forward simply earlier than the race’s remaining full-course warning got here out – with slightly greater than 10 minutes remaining within the two-hour occasion.
Wickens had taken the race lead with about an hour remaining when his No. 33 BHA Hyundai pitted forward of a warning interval close to the race’s midpoint. Whereas the remainder of the TCR class got here in for driver modifications throughout that ensuing yellow, the No. 33 had already accomplished its service and driver change and assumed the lead.
Wickens held off Lewis and the 15-car TCR discipline by practically a second at one level with Lewis combating again and finally pulling as much as problem Wickens nook after nook because the warning flag got here out.
“I don’t assume it was side-by-side,’’ Wickens stated. “To be sincere, the visibility in these vehicles is kind of difficult and I may see that he was shut and wasn’t positive if I used to be precisely clear, so I left him some area after which I noticed the flashing mild in my automobile so I lifted. And he proceeded to overhaul me.
“So, in my thoughts, he positively wasn’t forward of me.’’
Wickens stated IMSA instructed the Bryan Herta staff that the overtake “was in progress earlier than the yellow” in order that’s why Lewis was allowed to maintain the place, finally taking a 1.671-second victory. The No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N completed third with drivers Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi.
“There was a disabled automobile on the facet of the observe for 2 laps earlier than, and conversing with my staff, they stated ‘Hey, when you’re going to go for it, you should go for it now,’’’ Lewis stated, “And that’s when Robbie made simply the slightest mistake and we went side-by-side for 3 turns.’’
Lewis stated there was no query he had made the cross previous to the yellow flag, noting his staff additionally known as into race management through the warning interval to confirm his place out entrance.
That is the sixth win for the No. 5 driver pairing — Lewis, of Boca Raton and his co-driver Roy Block, of Winter Park — and their first on the famed Sebring Worldwide Raceway.