Auberlen was due to take part in the Florida endurance classic alongside regular full-season IMSA teammate Robby Foley and Turner’s third driver, Dillon Machavern, at the wheel of the team’s solo BMW M6 GT3.
However, ahead of Thursday’s first on-track running, the team announced on social media that Auberlen’s place will instead be taken by BMW factory driver Nick Yelloly. No reason was cited for the change.
Yelloly, who has represented BMW this year in the ADAC GT Masters series, the Spa 24 Hours and the Nurburgring 24 Hours, will be making his IMSA debut at Sebring.
He was one of four of the German manufacturer’s drivers to test positive for COVID-19 in the wake of the Spa event – Corvette Racing’s Nicky Catsburg being another – but has since recovered and is expected to arrive at Sebring on Thursday evening.
Auberlen and Foley have taken victory two races in the GT Daytona class as a duo this year, with the first at those at Virginia International Raceway moving Auberlen clear of Scott Pruett as the driver with most wins in IMSA history.
#96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, GTD: Robby Foley III, Bill Auberlen, Robbie Foley
Photo by: Art Fleischmann
The pair lie fifth in the GTD standings, 22 points behind leaders Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry in the Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.
Farnbacher and McMurry are 10 points clear of their nearest rival, AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus driver Aaron Telitz, which means fifth place at Sebring would guarantee them the title.