PORTLAND, Ore. – Veteran racer Toby Grahovec knows the pressure of competing for a series championship. The Celina, Tex. driver drove his No. 26 Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW BMW M235iR sedan to the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car title.
Now, Grahovec is back in the midst of another championship run as the former college hockey star heads to Portland International Raceway at the annual Rose Cup Races for the TC America doubleheader weekend (July 12-14).
Toby returned to Touring Car action this year in the new No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M240iR with his sights set on another title for the Texas-based Classic BMW racing team, which won the worldwide customer 2018 BMW Sports Trophy. The BMW Sports Trophy is the most prestigious award among BMW customer teams.
“We know we are in a championship battle now, just ten points out of the point lead,” said Grahovec, who also serves as Fast Track Racing team manager at the organization’s Plano-based headquarters. “We have five second place finishes in six events this year and we are prepared to get to that coveted top step of the podium at Portland this weekend.”
Grahovec would be leading TC America series points if not for being hit by another competitor in a TC event at the VIRginia International Raceway in April.
“That was a tough one to take because we had a car that could have won the race that day,” Toby explains. “But that is racing. You have to get back, regroup and move on for the next one. We thought we had a shot at Sonoma last month too and just missed out (by 0.173 seconds to Cameron Evans). Now, we’re set for a strong performance at Portland. It’s a track I really like, and I think we can run right up front again.”
Grahovec took a break from Touring Car racing in 2018 to help develop and race the new BMW M4 sports car in the Pirelli GT4 America series. He teamed with Chris Ohmacht to place third in the final SprintX (two drivers) standings last year.
With the new M240iR sedan from BMW, Grahovec came back to the TC division this year and hasn’t missed a beat, scoring five runner-up finishes already. But Toby is ready for victory lane this weekend.
“It was a little bit of an adjustment going from the bigger BMW M4 to the M240iR this year,” he said. “But it was like riding a bike, you just get back familiar with things. The TC car’s handling, power and the close racing have been good. It has been fun for me this year.”
And Grahovec has his goals set for this weekend at Portland International Raceway, grab the first 2019 TC win and take over the TC America class point lead.
“We need to keep our consistency at Portland and stay in the point battle,” said Grahovec. “But winning a race there would help our trek towards another TC championship. So that is our goal this weekend.”
In addition, Grahovec’s sister car, the No. 28 Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW BMW M240iR is available for rental this weekend at Portland. The Hard Motorsport team, with Shaun Webster driving, will field a No. 31 BMW M240iR from Classic BMW at Portland as well.
The TC America action at Portland International Raceway begins Friday (July 12) with practice rounds set for 8:55 a.m. PDT and 12:00 p.m. PDT. Qualifying is scheduled for Friday at 2:50 p.m. PDT. The two 40-minute TC sprint events will take place at 10:15 a.m. PDT Saturday and 10:20 a.m. PDT Sunday.
Both TC races will be streamed on Live.SRO-America.com and heard via audio simulcast on SiriusXM satellite radio Ch. 383 (983 on the app). In addition, race highlight telecasts will be shown on the CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, July 24, at 8:00 p.m. EDT and 11:30 p.m. EDT.
About Fast Track Racing/CLASSIC BMW:
Fast Track Racing is located at the Classic BMW headquarters in Plano, Tex., north of Dallas. Fast Track Racing has captured numerous race events over the past decade and was recently awarded the BMW Sports Trophy award as the Top BMW Racing Team worldwide in 2018. It marked the first time an American racing organization has captured the prestigious award. In addition, the Fast Track Racing also won the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Team championship led by Karl Wittmer, Matt Travis and Jayson Clunie in BMW M235iR cars. Toby Grahovec and Chris Ohmacht won two GTS Am SprintX division races in 2018 and finished third in the SprintX final points in the new BMW M4 GT4 sports car. Classic BMW heads up the BMW customer racing program in North America, with customer-built cars and has already captured a 2016 Touring Car driver’s title with Grahovec and the BMW M235iR car. The BMW M235iR racing sedan also won the Touring Car manufacturer’s championship in 2017 and 2018. Fast Track Racing will campaign BMW M240iR and BMW M4 GT4 machines in 2019.
Contact: Tom Blattler, TB Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 317.525.5692