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.”

Live streaming of the race can be found on ESPN3.com. Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at @BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend. The Amer­ican Le Mans North­east Grand Prix is sched­uled to be broad­cast on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 6th. ALMS.com will stream in-car footage throughout the race and the full live feed for inter­na­tional views. More infor­ma­tion on the program can be found at www.bmwusa.com and www.alms.com.

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.

Infor­ma­tion about BMW Group prod­ucts is avail­able to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com

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.

Jour­nalist note: Infor­ma­tion about BMW Group and its prod­ucts in the USA is avail­able to jour­nal­ists on-line at www.bmwgroupusanews.com and www.press.bmwna.com.