‘Surprise’ Pole For Edwards, BMW At Circuit of The Americas
Friday, May 5, 2017

John Edwards knew he had a strong BMW this weekend at Circuit of The Americas, but admits Friday’s TOTAL USA Pole Award in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying came as a surprise.

Still, the driver of the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 posted an impressive lap of two minutes, 2.833 seconds, good enough for the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class record at Circuit of The Americas.

I have to say it was a little bit of surprise,” said Edwards, who recorded his 11th career pole and first since 2014. “I expected people to keep getting quicker, but they didn’t so we waited it out and I stayed on top.”

In the always-competitive GTLM class, all nine cars were within 0.9 seconds of the pole-winning time, with the top seven within just 0.252 seconds. Giancarlo Fisichella qualified second in the Houston-based No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE, just 0.032 seconds behind Edwards.

It wasn’t just the BMW of Edwards that was fast. BMW Team RLL’s second car, the No. 25 driven in qualifying by Alexander Sims qualified third at 2:02.990.

“The conditions will be a bit cooler than we’re used to at COTA, but starting first and third for BMW should be to our advantage,” said Edwards. “It’s going to be very tight, but we’re at the right place to start.”

The points-leading No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Dirk Mueller qualified fifth, one spot behind teammate Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford GT.

 

Jaminet Scores GTD TOTAL Pole Award For First WeatherTech Championship Race

One week ago, Mathieu Jaminet had not met anyone on the Alegra Motorsports team, or even his co-driver Daniel Morad. But that hasn’t slowed down the young Frenchman who scored the TOTAL Pole Award Friday for the Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown at Circuit of The Americas, his first WeatherTech Championship start.

Jaminet, filling in for Michael Christensen who had a conflicting race in Belgium, turned in the pole-winning lap of two minutes, 6.531 seconds in Alegra Motorsports’ No. 28 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“I didn’t know the team, my teammate, or how racing in the U.S. and IMSA would be,” said Jaminet. “I’ve raced this car in Europe, so not everything is new. I adapted myself very easily to the team. I came here last year with Porsche Supercup during the F1 weekend and won both pole positions and both wins as a rookie in the series, so I knew I would be very comfortable with this track here.”

The Lexus of Jack Hawksworth qualified second, but was moved to the back of the GT category after a violation of the ground clearance rule was found in post-qualifying technical inspections.

That penalty moved the No. 48 TOTAL Lubricants Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Madison Snow to the front row. Snow’s lap of 2:07.724 was 1.193 seconds behind the pole-winning time of Jaminet. Corey Lewis will now start third tomorrow in the No. 16 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Change Racing.

The two-hour, 40-minute Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown starts at 2:35 p.m. ET. Live IMSA Radio audio coverage and in-car cameras are available for U.S. viewers on IMSA.com. The race will be televised Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on FS1.

Qualifying results are available at results.imsa.com.

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