Grahovec/Ohmacht Pair Win GTS SprintX Am Class Saturday at VIR for Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW Team
Karl Wittmer Places 3rd Saturday in Classic BMW BMW M235iR in Touring Car
ALTON, Va. – A superb drive by Toby Grahovec and Chris Ohmacht Saturday at Virginia International Raceway produced a winning performance in the GTS SprintX Am class at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Virginia in the No. 92 ETF Global/Classic BMW BMW M4 GT4 at the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course.
Grahovec, the 2016 Touring Car series champion from Celina, Tex., recorded a pole position on Saturday morning for the team and Toby quickly jumped to the lead of the Am class. In fact, Grahovec didn’t waste much time moving to the GTS SprintX overall lead in the 38-car field.
By lap 10, Grahovec held the advantage over the entire field and handed his BMW M4 GT4 sports car over to Ohmacht. The Franklin Lakes, N.J., driver stayed in the overall lead for several laps before a few selected professional racers slid by for the overall lead.
Ohmacht, a regular at the VIR circuit, raced hard with pros like Trent Hindman, James Sofronas and Lawson Aschenbach before settling for fourth overall and first in the Am division.
The victory marked the first win for a Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW machine since Grahovec won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2016, the same season of his TC title run.
“It’s really exciting to be back on the top step,” said Grahovec. “The last time I won a race was back in Touring Car in 2016 at Mosport (CTMP). So, to be back on the top step feels great. We had a good race. I started making my way up to the front, taking on one car at a time, trying to get a nice lead to hand over to Chris (Ohmacht). Chris put his head down and drove amazing today. Chris’ driving today, finished fourth overall – with the competition that he had to deal with on his bumper, that’s pretty awesome.”
“I’m so excited to win this race today,” said Ohmacht. “I love racing at VIR. This is one of my favorite tracks and the Classic BMW M4 GT4 has been a tremendous car to drive this year. Toby drove a great race and gave me the lead overall. I was racing against some of the best drivers in the sport and it was fun. To finish fourth overall is a great accomplishment for our Classic BMW team. We are anxious for the Sunday race now.”
In the GTS SprintX Pro-Am category, the Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW cars placed 12th and 15th in their class with Justin Raphael and Stevan McAleer taking the No. 17 Raphael & Associates BMW M4 GT4 to the 12th spot. Mike Vess and Jason Hart suffered some tough luck with our driver’s contact in the No. 27 Vess Energy Group BMW M4 GT4 but came back for 15th.
In the Touring Car class, Karl Wittmer put the No. 91 Classic BMW BMW M235iR back on the podium with a third-place finish in the Round 3 40-minute sprint race at VIR.
Wittmer was in a superb battle for the lead late in the race before losing out to Johan Schwartz and Steve Streimer by just one second at the checkered flag.
“It was a great race,” said Wittmer. “I owe this race to Classic BMW, FastTrack Racing and everyone in that camp – they’ve been working on rebuilding my car for weeks. I was fortunate enough to have two teammates who lent me their cars. So big shout out to them. It’s been an adjustment for a while. You can’t really throw (a rear-wheel drive) car into it, like a front-wheel drive. But after nine seasons of front-wheel drive Touring Car racing, to make the switch to rear-drive could be hard. But the BMW M235iR is the perfect car – it’s easy to drive and really easy to learn in. BMW Motorsports brings in a great package. And FastTrack Racing/Classic BMW has given me a great car, so all I have to do is execute.”
Matt Travis recorded a top-five finish Saturday at VIR with a fifth in the No. 26 Classic BMW BMW M235iR, while C.J. Lett, racing in his first Pirelli World Challenge TC race, scored a fine 11th in the No. 28 Classic BMW BMW M235iR.
Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge action begins with the GTS SprintX Round 4 60-minute race set for 1:50 p.m. EDT, while the TC Round 4 event will begin at 3:05 p.m. EDT. All Pirelli World Challenge rans are live streamed on www.world-challenge.com.
Classic BMW heads up the BMW customer racing program in North America, with customer-built cars and has captured the 2016 PWC Touring Car title with Gravohec and the BMW M235iR race car. The BMW M235iR racing sedan also won the PWC Touring Car manufacturer’s championship in 2017.