Amesbury BMW parts specialist Will Turner has turned his passion for cars into a championship-winning dream.
When Turner Motorsport driver Paul Dalla Lana was awarded the 2011 BMW Sports Trophy, Will Turner’s smile could have lit up Daytona International Speedway.
“One of our team had been named the world’s most successful BMW race driver of the year,” he says, recalling the celebrations in Munich, Germany last November. “That’s a really cool honor.”
“Cool” could well be Turner’s middle name. At 43, he owns the leading BMW parts, accessories, and performance tuner in North America, as well as a highly successful race team that has won six major professional championships. He travels almost constantly from one turbo-charged race venue to the next, and when he’s home in Newburyport with wife, Sue, and two young daughters, Sydney and Kate, he gets to go to work and-as he puts it-“play around with BMWs all day.”
But life for Turner wasn’t always so racy. In fact, the first BMW he bought in college nearly broke him. “I got in a bit over my head,” he says. “I couldn’t afford to fix it and thought, ‘I’ve got to do this for myself.’ That’s when I started learning about cars, learning about the brand, and it has been my passion ever since.”
What started as a car parts catalog business in Connecticut in 1993 grew rapidly after Turner moved to Newburyport in 1995, where he began combining the BMW parts component with performance tuning and racing. Almost two decades later, Turner Motorsport is a state-of-the-art, 40,000-square-foot repair and service facility in Amesbury, employing 40 staff working alongside a separate but complementary race team comprising four drivers, four BMW M3s, an annual budget of $2 million, and a schedule of 23 races each year from Daytona to Indianapolis.
Each arm of the business learns from the other, giving Turner Motorsport a sharp competitive edge. “We offer regular maintenance service to everything a BMW dealer would do,” he says, “but what gets us smiling and excited is when someone brings in a BMW for an oil change and wants to put on bigger wheels or a sports exhaust. That’s where we really shine.”
The race team helps put Turner Motorsport in top gear, winning the Grand Am Continental Sports Car Challenge in 2011-which Turner himself won as a driver in 2006-along with Dalla Lana’s prestigious BMW Sports Trophy award.
“What the guys do in the business and race team, I’ve done myself,” Turner says. “This is definitely a story of one guy with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for BMWs who’s living his dream. I still love coming to work every day.”.