Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana competed in two events on the same day and caught lighting in a bottle by doing the "double" at Circuit of The Americas.
Doing the "double," competing in two GRAND-AM events on the same day, hardly is without precedent. It's done by a number of competitors each time the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Sports Car Challenge race back to back.
But winning both races – now that's an accomplishment.
Until March 2, only one team and driver pairing had reached that plateau. Turner Motorsports, Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana made history with GT and GS victories in 2011 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Now they've caught the same lightning in a bottle with identical wins at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
Auberlen, driving the final stint in the No. 96 BMW M3, won a tense Continental Tire Challenge GS class duel with the No. 38 Porsche Carerra helmed by Spencer Pumpelly. The lead changed hands twice in the race's final seven minutes as Auberlen shook his rival in final lap traffic to score a 3.804-second victory.
In the Rolex Series GT class race Auberlen and Dalla Lana came from almost two laps down after Dalla Lana's early spin. With Auberlen behind the wheel, and some great pit strategy calls by Don Salama, the No. 94 BMW M3 charged to the front of the class field, passing Andy Lally in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche with only seven minutes remaining.
Team owner Will Turner said the organization's goal was to win but he was pleasantly surprised to get a double victory.
"I never imagined winning both classes again," he said. "When we race our goal is always to go for the win but I didn't see these wins coming."
Dalla Lana pointed out that the first time the team won both races, Turner Motorsport captured the 2011 GS championship.
"Hopefully these victories will lead to another strong season for the Turner Motorsport BMWs. Our results were due to two key factors – the testing and preparation of the Turner team as well as the incredible drives by my teammate Bill Auberlen," he said. "In a long career with many great drives, his performance this weekend has to rank right at the top.
"I have to confess, it's a miracle we won (GT) after the huge hole I put us in at the start. The win is a real testament to the team and dogged determination of my co-driver."
Auberlen definitely was up to the task.
"Some days go really good and it comes the easy way," he said. "Other days you've got to fight. This race was the fight. After winning the first race – even though we were down two laps in this one – I knew I could push the car and push really hard.
"We tested here in December and that definitely paid off in spades."
GRAND-AM's next event is the April 3-6 Porsche 250 weekend at Barber Motorsports Park outside Birmingham, Ala. The Rolex Series event will air on SPEED at 5:30 p.m. ET on April 7. SPEED also will carry the Continental Tire Challenge race at 2 p.m. ET on April 13.