Edwards, BMW ‘Back in Black’

July 20, 2018

Edwards, BMW ‘Back in Black’

July 20, 2018

Occasionally, BMW Team RLL has split its liveries into a black car and a white car. And generally speaking, it’s been John Edwards driving the black car, whatever model of BMW he is racing.

The American, now in his sixth year with the team, is “back in black” this weekend. He’ll share the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE as he and Jesse Krohn look to turn their season around in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Why is the black car here this weekend?

BMW and Paramount Pictures continue their partnership that dates since 2011, to support the latest “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” movie.

The last time BMW rolled out a black car during the season, it occurred last fall at Laguna Seca.

Edwards and Martin Tomczyk won that race in the No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM, the previous generation car.

“We’ve had a bit of a challenging season so far,” Edwards said. “But we came with a special livery this weekend. We’re back in black with ‘Mission: Impossible.’ If anyone remembers the last time we had a black livery, we won Laguna Seca.

“It’s BMW’s home race and closest race to its headquarters in (Woodcliff Lake) New Jersey. We’re optimistic to use the luck of the black car to get back on the podium.”

Lime Rock presents interesting setup options for teams such as BMW Team RLL, which has won here before. Edwards scored his first win for BMW here at Lime Rock in 2013, co-driving a BMW Z4 GTE with Dirk Mueller.

“Lime Rock is very unique. There’s only one left-hander,” Edwards explained. “It opens up a lot of strange setups. You run a little more cross weight. You can run some staggered setups to really help the right-handers, and sacrifice a little bit in the one left-hander.

“Particularly because since the high-speed corners, at West Bend, the downhill and Turn 1 all need good rotation, you can run more aggressive setup at those corners to gain some speed.”

Edwards also joked he’s had a “win or go home” history at Lime Rock. With BMW, he’s won in 2013, got taken out in an incident in 2016 and finished third here last year driving with Tomczyk.

He also welcomes the opportunity to go for the overall win within the GTLM class this race. However, not having Prototypes here removes one of the challenges he relishes.

“I typically enjoy the challenge of managing traffic,” he said. “Whether passing GTD traffic or getting passed by Prototypes, there are little tricks you can use in each situation to help yourself and help let traffic by in certain places without losing as much time or getting by GTD cars a little quicker.

“But without Prototypes here, it’s a bit of a relief. Lime Rock is such a short track. It’s a bullring.”

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