Edwards, BMW fly to pole at Mid-Ohio

May 5, 2018

Edwards, BMW fly to pole at Mid-Ohio

May 5, 2018

Former Ohio resident John Edwards is still right at home, driving at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The former Cincinnati native, whose parents still live there, captured the pole position for the fourth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

But Edwards, who now lives outside Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. and flew to Mansfield, Ohio via Columbus, was top flier on-track too.

Edwards emerged at the head of an all-four manufacturer battle for pole in the GT Le Mans class, with the BMW Team RLL team finishing on top of the charts.

Times quickly plunged below the previous track record into the 1:18 bracket, and then into the 1:17 bracket, as BMW, Porsche and Corvette traded the top spot at any point.

Edwards’ best lap of 1:17.853 in the 15-minute qualifying session was best in a very tight scrap, as the track evolved.

“When you go to qualify and there’s Michelin-only rubber down for 15 minutes, the session changes a lot from beginning to end,” Edwards said. “This is opposed to the rest of the weekend, where you’re mixing Michelin with other rubber. Everything depends on track conditions, ambient temperatures, and humidity.

“Passing is so difficult here. You have to beat guys to pavement changes. It’s very low grip, off line. It will be tough to get a run on someone. Traffic will be the key tomorrow, and getting through the GTD cars.”

Edwards’ co-driver Jesse Krohn will finish in GTLM for the first time.

The entire eight cars, from all four manufacturers, were separated by just 0.599 of a second on the 2.258-mile permanent road course.

The two BMW M8 GTEs and two Porsche 911 RSRs have locked out the front two rows.

Nick Tandy qualified the No. 911 Porsche in second at 1:17.919, only just ahead of Alexander Sims in the No. 25 BMW at 1:17.932. The No. 912 Porsche, which led all three pre-qualifying practice sessions, will line up fourth.

Antonio Garcia was fifth in the first of the Corvette C7.Rs ahead of Dirk Mueller in the first of the two Ford GTs.

The pole time for the most recent race for the GTLM class at Mid-Ohio in 2012 – then called the GT class under the American Le Mans Series banner – was a 1:19.298. All cars now have exceeded that by anywhere from seven tenths of a second to more than 1.5 seconds.

Edwards is no stranger to the pole at Mid-Ohio though. He was on pole in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series’ GT class races at the track in 2012 and 2013.

Overall and in Prototype, Helio Castroneves has scored pole for Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge. His best time was a 1:11.837 lap in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05. It’s an all-Acura front row with teammate Dane Cameron alongside.

In the GT Daytona class, the 3GT Racing Lexus team took its first pole of the season with Jack Hawksworth in the No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3. Hawksworth’s best time was 1:19.317.

Sunday’s IMSA race will go green just after the race broadcast starts at 1 p.m. ET on FS2.


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