- Grahovec takes #26 Fast Track Racing/ClassicBMW.com BMW M240iR Cup to podium
- Phil Bloom shows good pace in debut with Fast Track Racing with top-ten placings
- Rookie John Rader works well with Grahovec, Bloom in TC America pro debut
Veteran Toby Grahovec of Celina, Tex., showed his impressive driving skills this weekend in the TC America season opening doubleheader events at the fast Circuit of the Americas (COTA) road racing course by wheeling his No. 26 Fast Track Racing/ClassicBMW.com BMW M240iR race cars to two runner-up finishes, a pole position and a fastest race lap honors.
Grahovec, the 2016 TC America class champion, competed in spirited battles in both 40-minute TC class features at the 3.426-mile, 20-turn F1 circuit, as the Fast Track Racing team manager/driver fought against pro racers James Clay, Johan Schwartz and Joseph Federl in wheel-to-wheel action in each of the TC main events.
In the TC America TC division opener at Saturday, Clay held off Grahovec’s BMW M240iR in a wild contest that finished with BMW cars 1-2-3-4 at the checkered flag. Toby’s missed the top spot by 0.550 seconds to Clay with Schwartz, the 2019 TC champion, rounding out the winner’s podium (top-three).
Round two was held Sunday and Grahovec started from the pole in the 17-lap contest. Toby led the BMW contingent against Federl’s Nissan 370Z in a fierce run around the classic COTA track. In fact, Grahovec held the first position before the straightline speed of Federl’s Nissan took over. As Toby tried valiantly to stay with the Nissan, he opened up a gap over Clay and Schwartz’s BMWs. Grahovec recorded his second runner-up finish of the weekend in front of the large group from the Classic BMW dealership who came down to Austin from the Dallas area.
The two second place finishes give Grahovec an excellent start in the 14-race TC America series as he seeks his second TC division championship in 2020.
“We had a strong BMW M240iR this weekend,” said Grahovec. “We tried hard to get to the top step of the podium this weekend, but the competition was extremely strong in TC. Racing against veterans like James Clay and Johan Schwartz as well as a good young driver in Joseph Federl here from Austin was not easy. In addition, we had Phil Bloom and John Rader in Fast Track Racing BMW M240iR cars for the first time and they learned quite a bit with our team and the cars. Phil showed impressive speed in the races, but some misfortune came his way, and John is just a pro rookie racer and his learning curve is improving with each race.”
Bloom, the Nantucket, Mass., driver, drove his No. 11 Fast Track Racing/ClassicBMW.com M240iR to in qualifying and made a tremendous start in TC race one, as he ran as high fourth at one point in the 40-minute sprint. Phil placed tenth in race one and seventh in race two.
Rader, the former Dallas collegiate athlete who made his TC America debut this weekend in the No. 27 11 Fast Track Racing/ClassicBMW.com M240iR, received excellent guidance from Grahovec and the Fast Track Racing crew before the two TC Sprint events this weekend. Rader drove his machine to 11th and 12th in the TC features, as he gained some valuable seat time at COTA.
The COTA TC America sprint race highlights from this weekend will be televised on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. EDT.