Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – May 5, 2018… BMW Team RLL made full use of its home field advantage to qualify first and third for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.
John Edwards, driving the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE, scored his first pole of the season and the fourth BMW Team RLL pole of his career today with a 1:17.853 minute lap around the Mid-Ohio circuit. Edwards will co-drive with Jesse Krohn tomorrow. Only .079 seconds behind his teammate Alexander Sims drove the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE to the third starting spot with a 1:17.932 minute lap. Sims will co-drive with Connor De Phillippi tomorrow. The entire GTLM field qualified within six-tenths-of-a-second to predict a very exciting race.
BMW NA Ambassador Bill Auberlen will be co-driving the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 with 2017 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport (GS) champion Dillon Machavern in tomorrow’s race. Machavern qualified the car in the fifth starting spot.
“This is certainly a nice turnaround from Long Beach, isn’t it?”, said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “ I think both cars are working really well on the Michelins but it is going to be very close tomorrow and we cannot relax. It is going to be nice to start at the top as this is a tough track with only two legitimate passing places, turn 1 and 3 and that’s it. Getting through traffic is going to be very important tomorrow.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P1): “I had a Facebook reminder this morning that it has been a year to the day since my last pole (COTA, 2017) so I guess I had a little extra motivation today to go out and do it. It was a very tight session and it is going to be a very tough fight tomorrow. With traffic, you never know what is going to happen so when we start catching up GTD cars and Prototype cars start catching us it’s going to throw a wrench into the works. With rain predicted towards the end of the race, nothing is a given but it is very nice to be starting out front.”
Alexander Sims, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P3): “This is my first time at Mid-Ohio and that always makes it difficult to show up and get everything perfect. The team gave me a lot of motivation to go out and qualify well. The practice laps on Friday helped. The car felt very nice in qualifying and I was able to get a sensible lap in even with the door coming loose. A solid job by everyone!”
The ACURA Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio will take the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET tomorrow and be broadcast on live on FOX Sports 2 beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; technology offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 345 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 127 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BMW’s partner, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan, has been competing for almost three decades. Prior to the start of their 27th season of competition in 2018, the team had compiled 42 victories, 53 poles, 162 podium finishes, three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) and claimed an Indianapolis 500 victory (Buddy Rice in 2004). In 2009 the team joined BMW of North America to campaign the new BMW M3 in the American Le Mans Series. The following year the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category and swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver – in 2011. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. Since 2014, BMW Team RLL has competed in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a two car program and has brought their total to 17 wins, 23 poles and 68 podium finishes as well as a second place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017.