ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (March 11, 2018) – Toby Grahovec drove his No. 26 Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW BMW M4 GT4 to a new GTSA race lap record Sunday and recorded a runner-up finish in the Pirelli World Challenge Round 2 event in the streets of St. Petersburg.
This weekend marked the season opening doubleheader for the GTS and GTSA classes on the tight, tricky 14-turn, 1.8-mile street circuit located along the water of the St. Petersburg harbor.
Fast Track Racing sponsored by Classic BMW of Plano, Tex., made its GTSA debut this weekend and Grahovec battled to a fifth in Saturday’s 50-minute sprint race and second in Sunday’s PWC event in front of a large spectator turnout.
Joining Grahovec with the Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW contingent this weekend were New Jersey racers Justin Raphael and Chris Ohmacht, all debuting the new BMW M4 GT4 race cars.
On Sunday, Grahovec was a factor both overall and in the GTSA category, as the Celina, Tex., racer started eighth overall and moved to sixth on the opening lap, racing the likes of pro drivers Ian James and Jade Buford. Toby battled hard in his No. 26 M4 GT4, clocking a new GTSA race lap mark of one minute, 20.011 seconds (80.98 miles per hour) on lap 15.
Toby fought with Saturday’s GTSA winner Drew Staveley in his Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta G55 for the top position in the GTSA class before Staveley captured his second win of the weekend. Grahovec, in his GTSA rookie events, was impressive battling the pros throughout the 30-lap contest.
“I got a great start today,” said Grahovec. “I was battling Staveley in the GTSA class and I kept my head down. I was trying to stay with the overall leaders in the pro class. I raced for the GTSA lead most of the race. But I had to settle for second today. This weekend was a success for our M4 GT4 debut. We had a few issues but we all kept things rolling inside the walls of a street circuit. That is not easy most of the time at these types of courses.”
Raphael and Ohmacht were driving at a street circuit for the first time this weekend and, on Sunday, they placed eighth and ninth respectively in the GTSA division. Raphael drove his No. 17 Raphael & Associates/Classic BMW M4 GT4 to a best lap of 1:21.243 Sunday, while Ohmacht, in the No. 92 ETF Global/Classic BMW M4 GT4, clocked a best lap of 1:22.268.
The Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW squad now moves to its home state event at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Tex., on March 23-25 when the Plano-based team will field some eight entries including four in the GTSA class and four in the Touring Car division.
Classic BMW in Plano, Tex., heads up the BMW customer racing program in North America, with customer-built cars and has already captured the 2016 PWC Touring Car title with Gravohec and the BMW M235iRacing. The BMW M235iR racing sedan also won the PWC Touring Car manufacturer’s championship in 2017.