Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 6, 2019… Jesse Krohn scored his first pole position for BMW Team RLL to lead a GTLM class front row lock out in today’s qualifying session for tomorrow’s two-hour-and-forty-minute Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Acura at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. With a 1:13.086 minute lap around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit and a new GTLM qualifying record, the Flying Finn drove the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE .468 seconds clear of the GTLM field and his teammate Tom Blomqvist. Krohn will share the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE tomorrow with John Edwards. Blomqvist, in his first weekend at CTMP, qualified second with a 1:13.548 minute lap in the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE. He will co-drive with Connor De Phillippi tomorrow.
Today’s result was the third pole for the BMW M8 GTE program (Sebring, Mid-Ohio – 2018), the 26th from the beginning of BMW Team RLL in 2009, as well as a sweet reward for the BMW Team RLL crew members who have worked more than they have slept since the Watkins Glen race only one week ago.
“Obviously that was a good session for us,” said Brandon Fry, RLL Technical Director. “We expected to go quicker than last year, but we also expected everybody to go quicker as well. Today was fairly cool and good for the M8. Even though it’s only a two-hour-and-forty-minute race, it’s going to be tough on the tires. We’ll have to get everything right if we expect to stay up front tomorrow.”
In today’s prior qualifying session, Robby Foley qualified the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 on the GTD class pole with a 1:16.172 minute lap. He will co-drive tomorrow with Bill Auberlen. Last weekend, Auberlen, Foley and Dillon Machavern finished second at Watkins Glen International.
The green flag for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Acura waves at 1:05 p.m. ET tomorrow with the live NBC broadcast beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET. Follow us on Twitter @BMWUSARacing for news from the pit box and get live scoring and in-car camera views at IMSA.com.
Jesse Krohn, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P1): “It’s super cool to have my first pole in IMSA GTLM. I’ve waited for this for a long time and finally, it’s here. The guys gave me a great BMW today. They did an amazing job with the setup and that made it really easy to put this M8 on pole.”
Tom Blomqvist, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P2): “The No. 25 M8 was quick today. The guys have worked really hard this week and weekend after Watkins Glen and last night. I really need to thank the team. Credit to the boys after putting in so many long hours recently. We can field both cars on the front row tomorrow thanks to them. But qualifying isn’t even half the job in this championship so we have a long way to go.”
Robby Foley, driver No. 96 BMW M6 GT3 (P1): “Qualifying was awesome. The Turner Motorsport guys gave me a great car today. We made the right changes over the practice sessions to prepare. We did a qualifying simulation in the morning and learned a lot about the new tires which we applied to qualifying today. Hopefully we can convert a pole into a win tomorrow.”
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 the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, and X6 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 347 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.