BMW Team RLL Sweeps Northeast Grand Prix GT Front Row; John Edwards drives to first pole of BMW Z4 GTE program
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – July 5, 2013 . . . John Edwards, driving the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE, carried the momentum from his first American Le Mans Series podium at the ALMS Monterey race in May to his first ALMS pole for tomorrow’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, in Lakeville, Conn.
Edwards, substituting for Joey Hand and co-driving with GT points leader Dirk Müller, took the pole with a time 50.996 seconds on his ninth lap of the 1.474-mile, 7-turn Lime Rock circuit. He was the only driver to break into the 50 second bracket.
Maxime Martin, driving the No. 55 Z4 GTE he shares with Bill Auberlen, chased Edwards throughout the 15-minute session ultimately finishing second with a lap of 51.157 seconds, only .161 seconds behind Edwards.
With three rounds complete in the debut season for the BMW Z4 GTE, BMW currently stands second in GT Manufacturer points and Dirk Müller leads GT driver points.
“We felt that this track would suit the Z4 GTE’s capabilities,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “We are clearly a bit down on straight line speed, but we have a very good handling car and this track is all about handling and fast corners. I’m really pleased for BMW and thanks to the guys on the team. 1-2 in the class and now we’ve got to stay there. Tomorrow is going to be a tough race. It’s really going to come down to going through traffic and trying to use traffic to get as much distance as possible between us and the other fast guys in our class. We are lucky that we have a strong driver lineup. That’s going to be really important tomorrow.
John Edwards, driver No. 56 Z4 GTE – (1st) – “We knew the car was going to be quick here and we also know that it’s going to be tough for us to pass during the race, so qualifying position was really important for us. We thought that if we can get to the front row, that we can stay there. Ultimately that’s what happened as our Michelin tires came coming up during the session all the way to my fast lap. Now we just have to deal with the variables of traffic in the race. Hopefully we can carry this to the first win for the number 56 car.”
Maxime Martin, driver No. 55 Z4 GTE – (2nd) – “I think this track is quite good for the Z4. I’m happy with my qualifying effort, as I didn’t get much time on the track this morning. I got used to the track a little bit more on each lap. An all-BMW front row is really great.”
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 the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley 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 exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 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, Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman, has been competing for over two decades, compiling 28 victories, 42 poles and three series championships (1992, 2010, 2011) as well as claiming 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. In 2010 the team won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category. In 2011 the team swept all three GT titles – Manufacturer, Team and Driver.