AUSTIN, Texas – The Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW team, former Touring Car class team champions, brings a strong three-car assault to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) this weekend (March 6-8) for the 2020 SRO TC America season opener with twin 40-minute sprint events set on the state-of-the-art 3.426-mile, 20-turn road racing circuit near Austin.
Named the worldwide BMW Customer racing organization of the year in 2018, Fast Track Racing returns to the highly-competitive TC division in the 14-race series with three well-prepared BMW M240iR Cup sports cars with drivers Toby Grahovec, Phil Bloom and John Rader for the TC America dual races.
Grahovec, the 2016 TC America drivers’ champion from Celina, Texas, won the 2016 TC category at COTA in his popular No. 26 ClassicBMW.com machine as he looks to improve his runner-up position in last year’s series points. In addition to his 2016 COTA victory, the Fast Track Racing’s team manager has been a consistent TC podium (Top 3) finisher at the Texas racing facility.
“It’s always exciting to prepare for the season opening races as well as returning to one of my favorite tracks in COTA,” said Grahovec, the former college hockey player at Robert Morris University. “We have developed a good combination with the latest BMW M240iR Cup car and our recent testing at COTA helped for this weekend’s action. We are anxious to get Phil and John out on the track too with three strong Fast Track Racing BMWs.”
Bloom, a veteran road racer from Nantucket, Mass., returns to COTA after suffering a serious accident in the 2017 IMSA event. The rear wing of his Porsche pulled away from the car’s bodywork on the long back straight at COTA, causing Bloom’s car to spin several times and hit another vehicle. Phil suffered injuries in the incident, but now returns in the No. 11 ClassicBMW.com BMW M240iR Cup sports car. Bloom has also competed in a variety of endurance races during his racing career.
“Circuit of the Americas holds a spot deep in my heart,” said Bloom. “I love the circuit and I've had a bunch of great races here in a variety of race cars. But, it's also the site of a serious crash I had in 2017 during a Porsche GT3 Cup race. It was a big one! That crash put a hold on my racing career for a few years.
“All I can say is that I am ecstatic to be back... and with such a great team as Classic BMW/Fast Track Racing. I'm looking forward to a great kick off to the TC America season at COTA and for the opportunity to learn a thing or two from Toby Grahovec as both a team manager and competitor. Toby has so much experience in the BMW M240iR Cup. He also knows how to win championships. This is going to be a great season!”
Rader, the rookie professional racer from Dallas, makes his TC America debut in the No. 29 ClassicBMW.com BMW M240iR Cup after racing in the six-race SRO Winter Series in Thermal, Calif. Rader, a successful businessman when not racing, scored numerous top-five finishes in the Winter action. Before entering the auto racing platform, John competed in national and international water ski events and sailboard races, collecting national wins and top-four in international competition. He also competed in semi-professional bicycle racers.
“It has been a huge honor to have been given the opportunity to begin Driving and Racing with Classic BMW!” said Rader.” Toby and the whole Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW crew is like a family and are very enjoyable and encouraging. They have helped me achieve my driving goals in a very short period of time, as well as relating to me as an athlete to help achieve this (racing) goal. My thanks goes out to Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW!”
Grahovec, Bloom and Rader will begin action at COTA on Thursday with a TC testing session before official TC practice gets underway on Friday at 11:40 a.m. CST. The two 40-minute TC America races at COTA are scheduled for 3:25 p.m. CST Saturday with Sunday’s TC main event set for 11:15 a.m. CDT.
All TC America races will be streamed live on www.tc-america.com and via audio simulcast on SiriusXM satellite radio Ch. 385 (980 on the web stream). The TC America sprint race highlights from COTA will be televised on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. EDT.