On Wednesday, Turner Motorsport announced that they are downsizing their IMSA effort from two BMW M6 GT3’s to simply one entry, the No. 96. Jens Klingmann, who drove the No. 96 BMW M6 GT3 full-time last year, will return to the team for a second year. He was the only driver for the team to test during the Roar Before the 24.
Klingmann will be joined in the No. 96 by Justin Marks, who will be supplementing his part-time ride in the XFINITY Series for Chip Ganassi Racing. Marks previously drove for the team in SPEED World Challenge (now Pirelli World Challenge) back in 2004 and 2005. Marks is a past Rolex 24 at Daytona class winner, having won the GT class in 2009 for The Racers Group. Klingmann and Marks will be joined in the car by Jesse Krohn and Maxime Martin. According to Marks, he will be in the car for the four Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races.
Marks is rather excited about returning to Turner Motorsport.
“This is a program I’m really excited about. I have a lot of fond memories with Turner Motorsport from earlier in my career so to kind of come home to one of the teams that is familiar is going to be a lot of fun,” Marks said in the team’s press release. “The IMSA GTD class is quickly becoming one of the most competitive and diverse in all worldwide GT racing. Turner and BMW have had a lot of success in North America so I think we’ll be very good so I’m very much looking forward to driving the M6 GT3.”
Klingmann is also happy to be back with Turner Motorsport.
“I’m really excited coming back to Daytona with Turner Motorsport,” Klingmann stated. “We are going into our second season with our BMW M6 GTD and after scoring 2 victories last season, the expectation[s] are high. We’ve got a strong package including a very strong driver line up and strategy for the Rolex 24 I can’t wait for the race to start and hope to see many, many BMW and Turner fans supporting us on and off track!”
The four men in the Turner Motorsport camp had mixed results last year in Daytona. Klingmann was in the No. 96 and had nothing but problems all weekend. A left front issue put the car in the garage for a significant amount of time overnight and prevented a good finish. Later on, the car was sent to the back of the GT Daytona class due to a drive-time violation.
Marks drove the No. 16 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Change Racing. The first half of the race went quite well as the team was right up in the hunt for the class lead. However, Marks collided with the Paul Miller Racing No. 48 Lamborghini while fighting for the GT Daytona lead at about 1 a.m. The incident put the car in the garage for a stint, ending any chance for victory. An additional stop and five minute hold penalty applied to all the Lamborghinis weeks after the race for sandbagging dropped Marks and company to an 18th-place finish in class.
Martin and Krohn were teammates in the No. 97 BMW M6 GT3 for Turner Motorsport. As compared to Klingmann in the No. 96, they had a relatively trouble-free debut for the then-new M6 GT3, finishing fifth in class.