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.
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