BMW Team RLL Sweeps Northeast Grand Prix GT Front Row; John Edwards drives to first pole of BMW Z4 GTE program
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.”