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Auberlen Leads BMW 1-2 in GTLM Qualifying at Long Beach

Bill Auberlen, John Edward give BMW 1-2 sweep in qualifying…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

BMW Team RLL will start Saturday’s Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach from the pole in GT Le Mans, after sweeping the front row for the third round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.

Bill Auberlen became the 14th different GTLM pole-sitter in as many races, taking his No. 25 BMW Z4 GTE to a new qualifying lap record of 1:17.268.

Auberlen’s time edged out the sister No. 24 BMW of John Edwards by 0.248 seconds in the 15-minute GTLM qualifying session.

It marked the first pole of the season for BMW and the third different manufacturer to take top qualifying honors in the highly competitive production-based class.

Auberlen will share driving duties with Dirk Werner in tomorrow’s 100-minute street fight, as the Redondo Beach, Calif. native searches for his second class victory in the last three years.

After slamming into the wall in final practice, Giancarlo Fisichella rebounded to qualify third in class aboard his wounded No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia GT.

Fisichella’s 1:17.709 lap time was also under the track record and came in a still damaged car, a remarkable feat for the Italian driver and crew for the quick turnaround.

The No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen qualified fourth, with teammate Oliver Gavin completing the top-five, which was separated by less than a half-second.

The Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase gets underway Saturday at 4:05 p.m. PT.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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