Owners of Turner Sports Cars in the United States made history during two race weekends in July.
Turners celebrated both the marque’s 51st birthday and car builder Jack Turner’s 90th by gridding nine of the 90–known Turners in the nation for the PVGP historic races at BeaveRun, PA., July 8–9. In addition to the racers, owners of six Canadian and US Turners attended the race weekend bringing to 15 the population of Turners at BeaveRun. And in an unusual birthday gift for Jack Turner, all the Turner owners autographed a commemorative 51st Anniversary–BeaveRun T–shirt which was presented to him at the UK Turner Rally two weeks later, on July 23.
For the Turner owners, the BeaveRun weekend was highlighted by a Turner–only race organized by Keith Lawrence which saw some of the oldest: Keith’s red 1956 803 and the yellow 1957 803 of Len Picton square off against the “new” 1965 MK III Turners of Mike Muckle and Vic Schuster.
The full grid included Mike Muckle (#51), Keith Schuster (#44), John Master (#484), Paul Bova (#425), Len Picton (#383), Keith Lawrence (#690), John Kieley (#573), Jim Southwood (#508), and Gregory Kozuhowski (#080).
Muckle took the checker and won the all–Turner race, recording a fast–lap time of 1:14.997, followed by Schuster – both in the 1500 cc Cortina powered MKIII racers. Close on their heels and less than a half second off Schuster’s pace was Paul Bova in his under one–litre, green 1959 MK I, followed by Len Picton, Keith Lawrence, John Kieley, Jim Southwood and Gregory Kozuhowski. John Master withdrew after the start to preserve the car for the Schenley park races the following week.
Greg Kozuhowski’s pale blue car #080 was making a bit of its own history. The car has been a familiar fixture on race tracks ever since 1959 when its original owner Fred Lieb took it to Sebring where he raced it, and then drove it to work the following week. Fred had competed in it ever since then, surely setting a record for one–owner race cars. Greg recently acquired #080 and BeaveRun was its first outing in his hands. After a thorough refreshing in Greg’s KK racing shop, it’ll be back on track.
With the BeaveRun races serving as a warm up and fine-tune opportunity, the Pittsburgh GP in Schenley Park which took place July 15 and 16 gave them plenty of additional opportunities to make Jack Turner proud. Turners captured four of the top nine finishing places in Race #2, under one–litre. Paul Bova and Jim Southwood dominated in first and second place with fast–lap times of 2:37.686 and 2:38.016 respectively. Keith Lawrence was 6th and Steve Garrett finished ninth.
John Master who has been campaigning his rare Turner Climax for more than 11 years and perhaps 75 races, ended his race career in the best of style. John recorded the fastest lap of the race and piloted the 1100 cc car to a second place finish at Schenley Park. And in a race that had been postponed from the 2005 Schenley Park GP, John captured first place; an eventful final weekend of competition before retiring from the sport. .....Steve Agins