Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 12, 2018… BMW Team RLL will start the IMSA BUBBA Burger Long Beach Grand Prix from the rear of the GTLM field after a disappointing qualifying session left them in the seventh and eighth starting positions.
Tom Blomqvist posted a 1:17.021 minute lap around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit to qualify the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE in the seventh position. He will share the car with Connor DePhillippi in tomorrow’s 100-minute race. John Edwards qualified the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE in the eighth position with a 1:17.236 minute lap. He will co-drive with Jesse Krohn. The GTLM pole position was won by the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR with a 1:16.313 minute lap.
BMW Team RLL has won the Long Beach Grand Prix three times (2011, 2013 and 2015) and finished on the podium four additional times. The race will take the green flag at 5:05 p.m. ET tomorrow and be broadcast live on NBCSN beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Tom Blomqvist, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P7):
“Ultimately, judging by the positions for both of us, we seem to be lacking a bit of pace. We weren’t expecting miracles and we know this circuit does not play into our strengths but we never expect to be 7th and 8th and we thought we would be able to be in the mix. We knew the Porsches were going to be very quick and we were hoping to be 4th or 5th but clearly not. It’s a short race and there are some things we can do with strategy but you are quite limited here. We still have a chance of scoring a good result and we just need to drive a smart race.
The practice before qualifying was a bit messy for me so I did not feel totally prepared but you just have to bounce back and get the most out of yourself in qualifying. Hopefully in the race tomorrow, we can move up a few positions.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P8):
“It was a very disappointing qualifying session for us after we were fairly quick this morning but it is Long Beach and anything can happen. We will look at the data tonight and try to make the car better and hope for the usual craziness in this race.”
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.