NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

July 12, 2013

Turner's race to the top

Amesbury home to a world-class auto team

Newburyport’s Will Turner has built an empire out of brake pads from an interesting place.

“People are amazed that we run a world-class professional race team out of a shop in the town of Amesbury,” said Turner. “People know about us all over the world. If you’re a sports car fan, you know of Turner Motorsport.”

Based out of South Hunt Road, Turner Motorsport employs a 50-plus team made up of R&D engineers, sales, marketing and race car professionals specializing in BMW specific auto parts, which they ship all over the world at the rate of 1,000 packages a week.

Turner and his company also put their money where their racing gloves are as the Turner Motorsport race team has competed in 275 professional races with BMW since 1998 (the second highest number in the world), raced at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and has won six professional Sports Car Racing championships, including taking first place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 16 in the Dia­mond Cel­lar Clas­sic Rolex Sports Car Series race, the nation’s largest Sports Car racing series.

“Nobody locally really knows,” Turner said. “You would expect a race team to be someplace exotic like North Carolina, but not in Amesbury. The location is good because the races that we go to are located around here. They’re not close, but they are kind of in the area. We have one race in California and one in Texas, the rest are in Florida, Georgia, upstate New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Indianapolis.”

A native of Hartford, Conn., Turner, 44, has been racing since 1990.

“Racing takes all sorts of (skills),” said Turner. “It takes a strong mental concentration and cleverness angle. It’s also very physically demanding as you move up the ranks. When you do these 24 hour races, it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s humid because it just got done raining, the cockpit inside the car is 160 degrees, and you’re wearing a fireproof suit and stuck in the car for two hours, racing hard.”

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