BMW Team RLL made full use of its home field advantage to qualify first and third for tomorrow’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.
John Edwards, driving the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE, scored his first pole of the season and the fourth BMW Team RLL pole of his career today with a 1:17.853 minute lap around the Mid-Ohio circuit. Edwards will co-drive with Jesse Krohn tomorrow. Only .079 seconds behind his teammate Alexander Sims drove the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE to the third starting spot with a 1:17.932 minute lap. Sims will co-drive with Connor De Phillippi tomorrow. The entire GTLM field qualified within six-tenths-of-a-second to predict a very exciting race.
BMW NA Ambassador Bill Auberlen will be co-driving the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 with 2017 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport (GS) champion Dillon Machavern in tomorrow’s race. Machavern qualified the car in the fifth starting spot.
“This is certainly a nice turnaround from Long Beach, isn’t it?”, said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “ I think both cars are working really well on the Michelins but it is going to be very close tomorrow and we cannot relax. It is going to be nice to start at the top as this is a tough track with only two legitimate passing places, turn 1 and 3 and that’s it. Getting through traffic is going to be very important tomorrow.”
John Edwards, driver No. 24 BMW M8 GTE (P1): “I had a Facebook reminder this morning that it has been a year to the day since my last pole (COTA, 2017) so I guess I had a little extra motivation today to go out and do it. It was a very tight session and it is going to be a very tough fight tomorrow. With traffic, you never know what is going to happen so when we start catching up GTD cars and Prototype cars start catching us it’s going to throw a wrench into the works. With rain predicted towards the end of the race, nothing is a given but it is very nice to be starting out front.”
Alexander Sims, driver No. 25 BMW M8 GTE (P3): “This is my first time at Mid-Ohio and that always makes it difficult to show up and get everything perfect. The team gave me a lot of motivation to go out and qualify well. The practice laps on Friday helped. The car felt very nice in qualifying and I was able to get a sensible lap in even with the door coming loose. A solid job by everyone!”
The ACURA Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio will take the green flag at 1:05 p.m. ET tomorrow and be broadcast on live on FOX Sports 2 beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.