Six Fast Track Racing/CLASSIC BMW Sports Cars Ready to Contend for Wins This Weekend at VIR
GTS SprintX, TC BMW Drivers Set for Pirelli World Challenge Doubleheader
ALTON, Va. – Six Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW entries are prepared to contend for victories this weekend (April 27-29) in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Virginia at the popular VIRginia International Raceway in Rounds 3 and 4 of the GTS SprintX and Touring Class categories.
Following podium finishes at St. Petersburg and Circuit of the Americas (COTA), the Fast Track Racing squad seeks to return to the top of the Pirelli World Challenge winner’s circle with three strong two-driver BMW M4 GT4 efforts in the 60-minute GTS SprintX format as well as three contenders in the Touring Car class with BMW M235iR sedans.
The GTS SprintX Pro-Am team of Justin Raphael and Stevan McAleer nearly took the Round 2 feature at COTA before settling for the runner-up position in the No. 17 Raphael & Associates/Classic BMW BMW M4 GT4 last March. McAleer led much of the event and Raphael was in position for the victory when a late race caution period froze the field at the checkered flag.
Now, Raphael and McAleer return with their BMW M4 GT4 at the fast Virginia road circuit in quest of the race win.
“We had a great race at COTA and nearly won the event at the end,” said Raphael. “Stevan put us in position with a tremendous drive at the beginning of the race. We hope to make another strong effort at VIR in the BMW. We had a good test there last week. We are anxious to get back to the track.”
Joining the Raphael/McAleer duo in the GTS SprintX Pro-Am division for the Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW operation is another impressive pair in veterans Mike Vess and Jason Hart in the No. 17 Vess Energy Group BMW M4 GT4 sports car. Hart qualified third at COTA and a misfortune early in the Round 2 contest cost the team a shot at a podium finish.
The third GTS SprintX team from Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW is the Am-Am class twosome of former TC champion Toby Grahovec and Chris Ohmacht in the No. 92 Classic BMW.com BMW M4 GT4. Grahovec has already placed second at St. Petersburg in the Pirelli World Challenge event and second at Sebring in the IMSA Continental Sports Car Challenge.
“I thought we had a strong car at COTA too, but some misfortune cost us in the second race there,” said Grahovec, the team manager of the Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW operation. “Now, we had a very good test last week at VIR and I think all of the team drivers are excited about the opportunities in the doubleheader races this weekend. We hope to put the BMWs back on the podium and victory lane.”
In the Touring Car class, three Fast Track Racing/Classic BMW drivers figure to contend for the victories in Saturday and Sunday’s 40-minute sprint events.
Veteran Matt Travis brings the No. 26 Classic BMW M235iR to VIR in search of his first PWC TC victory after making the podium in 2017. Joining Travis in the TC division at VIR will be Karl Wittmer, who reached the podium at COTA in his No. 91 Classic BMW M235iR, and PWC newcomer C.J. Lett in the No. 28 Classic BMW Ms35iR.
“I’m having a great time working the Classic BMW team this year,” said Wittmer, one of three Wittmer brothers competing in sports car racing in North America this year. “I am still learning to drive a rear-wheel-drive race car this year. Everything I have raced in the past has been front-wheel-drive, so it is taking a bit of training to get prepared for the new BMW. But the M235iR is a super race car and the Classic BMW team has given me a strong car with a chance to win races. That is all I can ask for this year.”
The VIR action this weekend begins Friday (April 27) with all PWC classes taking practice rounds followed by Qualifying and Round 3 race Saturday (April 28). Sunday (April 29) features Round 4 races in all categories.
All Pirelli World Challenge races this weekend will be live streamed on www.world-challenge.com.
Classic BMW in Plano, Tex., 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 M235iRacing. The BMW M235iR racing sedan also won the PWC Touring Car manufacturer’s championship in 2017.