Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Aug. 24, 2019… BMW Team RLL will start from the seventh and eighth GTLM class positions in tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at VIR. With a lap of 1:41.703 minutes around the 3.27-mile, 17-turn Virginia International Raceway, John Edwards qualified the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE seventh – 1.073 seconds from the pole sitting No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR. Connor De Phillippi, the winner of this race last year (along with Alexander Sims), qualified the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE in the eighth spot with a 1:41.772 minute lap. Edwards will share the No. 24 machine with Jesse Krohn, the duo finishing third here in 2018. De Phillippi will co-drive with Tom Blomqvist in the No. 25 M8.
“Obviously the tricky conditions today with the weather being wet this morning and drying out leading up to the qualifying session did not result in our best qualifying results. Tomorrow is meant to be considerably different and hopefully the decisions we made today will play out in our favor during the race.” said Brandon Fry, RLL Technical Director.
The green flag for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR falls at 1:35 p.m. ET tomorrow. The two-hour-and-forty-minute race will be broadcast on NBCSN beginning at 1:30 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.
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P7): “I think we are faster than what we showed in qualifying today. Our car did not really suit the drying track and cooler conditions. Tomorrow, with a dry day forecasted, we will be quicker and be better prepared to come back up through the field.”
Connor DePhillippi, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P8): “Tricky qualifying with drying track conditions and slick tires. It made it very interesting to try and put a complete lap together. Overall, the one lap pace was not there but I am confident we have the right setup and combination to be very strong in the race 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, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 348 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 123 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 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.