Edwards, BMW set record lap in Petit Le Mans qualifying

October 12, 2018

Edwards, BMW set record lap in Petit Le Mans qualifying

October 12, 2018

John Edwards and BMW Team RLL have secured the pole position for Saturday’s Motul Petit Le Mans (10:30 a.m. ET, FS1, noon ET, FS2).

Edwards’ pole caps off the round of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying sessions for the year. It’s his second and BMW’s third pole in GT Le Mans competition this season.

With a new track record lap of 1:17.006, Edwards blitzed last year’s previous track record mark set by Toni Vilander at 1:17.660.

In fact four of the five manufacturers entered among Michelin technical partner teams in class all were under last year’s mark. Just 0.445 of a second covered the top eight. Vilander, back qualifying the Risi Ferrari, was slightly adrift in ninth place.

“Yeah it wasn’t long ago that GT cars had a big difference to the field. Now we’re going quicker than some old prototypes. This one started as a production car,” Edwards told IMSA Radio after the session. “I just said on the radio, I know its 10 hours but it still feels good!!”

Edwards edged Antonio Garcia, in the No. 3 Corvette, for pole. Garcia was just 0.024 of a second in arrears.

Edwards will share the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE with Jesse Krohn and series debutante Chaz Mostert. Garcia will look to secure his and Jan Magnussen’s second consecutive GTLM class championship. Marcel Fassler joins Corvette as third driver this weekend.

Behind them, the first Porsche and Ford apiece make it four different manufacturers in the top four in class.

In the two other WeatherTech Championship classes, Pipo Derani (Prototype) and Daniel Serra (GT Daytona) won the Motul Pole Awards.

Derani puts the Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi ahead of a pair of sign-offs. This is Derani’s last race with the team before he moves to Action Express in 2019. This is also Patron’s final race in the sport, having announced it will end its motorsports sponsorship program.

Serra’s pole is his third this year in just four IMSA starts this year. He won poles at both Daytona and Sebring in a Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3. This pole comes in the WeatherTech-supported Scuderia Corsa entry he shares with Gunnar Jeannette and Cooper MacNeil.

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