● Toby Grahovec leads Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW 2020 TC team champions in 2021
● BMW M2 CS Cup makes first TC America TCX starts with youngsters Ruud & McCarthy
● Toby begins quest for another TC driver title in No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M240iR
● Phil Bloom moves to the No. 11 Classic BMW BMW GT4 M4 in GT America Sprint action
The all-new BMW M2 CS Cup racing sedan makes its TC America debut with the Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW team fielding two TCX cars for young drivers Jacob Rudd and Tommy McCarthy this weekend (March 5-7) in the 2021 SRO America road racing season opener doubleheader races at the popular Sonoma Raceway.
In addition to the two BMW M2 CS Cup TRX entries at Sonoma Raceway, Fast Track Racing also will campaign the No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M240iR in the TC division for former series champion Toby Grahovec of Celina,Tex., as well as the No. 11 Classic BMW BMW M4 GT sports car for Phil Bloom of Nantucket, Mass., in the GT America sprint races.
Grahovec, team manager for the Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW operation, has already seen the excitement of the BMW M2 CS Cup machines with the young drivers in testing. Grahovec, while not competing in the M2 CS Cup car in 2021, also has tested the new car.
“The new car is great,” said Grahovec. “I saw it in Munich a year ago. To me, it is like the little brother of the GT4 car. It will be a fantastic touring car for this year, and we are already very excited about it.”
Ruud, the 21-year-old college student from Racine, Wis., has been a regular in the TC America tour for the past three years and looks forward to the new TCX category in the No. 81 Light Speed Racing/Classic BMW BMW M2 CS Cup sedan. Jacob was impressed with the new car’s handling and overall speed in recent test sessions.
“The new M2 race car drives fantastic,” said Rudd, a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology in update New York. “The M2 suspension is very similar to the M4 and the handling was just superb. The new car also has a powertrain very close to the M4.
“We tested last week at Sonoma and I was thrilled with the car’s suspension. It is much different from the BMW M240iR which I drove last year. I’m very anxious to get in the M2 this weekend for racing competition. It will be fun.”
McCarthy makes his first TC America start this weekend at Sonoma Raceway in the twin 40-minute TCX sprint events at the famed 2.52-mile, 12-turn road circuit in the California Wine Country.
The 22-year-old college student and race driving instructor from Mountain View, Calif., has produced a stellar racing career since an early age with karting, open-wheel and sports car titles. In the past two weekends, Tommy won the Spec Miata races at Buttonwillow Raceway Park and Sonoma Raceway. No stranger to the Sonoma track, McCarthy is excited for his first runs in the new BMW M2 CS Cup mount.
“I’m juggling a variety of things right now with college, driving instructing and racing,” said McCarthy, who comes from a racing family with his father, Terry, and his late grandfather, Tom. “I am very anxious to get behind the wheel of the M2 TCX car at Sonoma. I have been racing recently with wins at Buttonwillow and Sonoma in the Spec Miata class. I have sat in the M2 car, but I haven’t tested it yet. So, I’m excited to see how the car goes at a track I know very well.”
Grahovec, who finished a close second in the 2020 TC series points with three wins and eleven podium finishes, returns in search of another TC class championship with his strong No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M240iR sedan this year. Toby, the former college hockey star, has served as Fast Racing Racing/Classic BMW team manager for several years in addition to his driving duties.
“It’s been a busy off-season for our team with the new BMW M2 cars,” Toby explained. “We needed to learn about the cars in addition to preparing them for racing. We also prepared my BMW M240iR TC car and Phil Bloom’s BMW M4 GT4 machine for the GT4 Sprint action. I have been able get behind the wheel for testing too. I expect another very competitive TC class battle with the BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Mazda cars racing wheel-to-wheel. I’m ready for the season openers at Sonoma now.”
Veteran Bloom put in some outstanding races last year in the TC America action and moves to the GT America GT4 50-minute sprint competition in 2021 with the No. 11 Classic BMW BMW M4 GT4 sports car. The Massachusetts racer finished the 2020 racing season by driving the BMW M4 GT4 in the SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge 8-Hour race last October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I’m excited to get back to racing with Classic BMW once again,” said Bloom. “A new opportunity and a new challenge in the form of driving the M4 GT4. I got to race the car last year at the Indy 8 Hour and got up to speed quickly thanks to the entire Classic BMW team. Sonoma is a new track for me, so I’m looking forward to making the most of this opening round of the 2021 season.”
The TC America on-track action at Sonoma Raceway begins Friday, March 5, with practice rounds at 9:45 a.m. PST and 2:15 p.m. PST. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, March 6, at 9:05 a.m. PST. The TC America 40-minute feature races are set for 1:30 p.m. PST on Saturday and 9:50 a.m. PST on Sunday, March 7.
The schedule includes practices on Friday at 11:45 a.m. PST and 4:15 PST with qualifying on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. PST. The two GT America GT4 50-minute races will take place Saturday at 4:05 p.m. PST and Sunday at 10:55 a.m. PST
The GT America race highlights at Sonoma Raceway will be televised on the CBS Sports Network on March 17 at 9:30 p.m. EDT with TC America action to be shown on March 18 at 9 p.m. EDT.