The 7-Car Fast Track Racing/CLASSIC BMW Team Shows Speed Friday in Hot Utah Practice Rounds
Strom, Wittmer Record Quick Times in Triple Digit Temperatures
GRANTSVILLE, Utah – The Pirelli World Challenge racing teams battled 100-degree air temperatures and track heat of over 130 Friday at Utah Motorsports Campus, but the seven-car Fast Track Racing/CLASSIC BMW organization recorded some quick times in the opening practice runs for the Pirelli World Challenge road racing event.
Conditions in the desert air at UMC could be described as brutal for the crew in the pits, but the heat inside the racing machines was difficult, to say the least, for the Fast Track Racing drivers.
Despite the searing heat, Brett Strom was impressive in the No. 113 CLASSIC BMW/JET Environmental BMW M4 GT4 sports car in the GTS SprintX division in both practice rounds where the California driver posted a top-three and top-five overall and first and second in the Amateur class listings.
In the Friday morning practice, Strom, co-driving with Texas’ Daren Jorgensen, clocked a best lap of one minute, 59.487 seconds for an average speed of 91.64 miles per hour for fifth in the 33-car GTS field. In the tough heat of the afternoon at the 3.048-mile, 14-turn road circuit, Brett improved to third overall and the fastest in the Am division.
Saturday’s action for the GTS SprintX class will begin with qualifying at 9:10 a.m. MDT with Round 9 in the series’ 10-race campaign set to start at 1:10 p.m. MDT.
In addition to Strom’s performance, other Fast Track Racing teams in the GTS SprintX included Stevan McAleer, teaming with Justin Raphael, in the No. 17 Raphael & Associates BMW M4 GT4 for a 2:01.191 (90.54 m.p.h.) in the Pro-Am class and Toby Grahovec, co-driving with Chris Ohmacht, in the No. 92 ETF Global/CAO/CLASSIC BMW BMW M4 GT4 at 2:01.846 (90.05 m.p.h.) in the Amateur category.
In the Touring Car division, series title contender Karl Wittmer was the fastest in the No. 91 CLASSIC BMW BMW M235iR sedan with a strong 2:05.199 (87.64 m.p.h.) with a Friday morning practice run. Wittmer returned in the afternoon practice with the second-best lap at 2:06.555 (86.70 m.p.h.) in the triple digit heat. The Canadian driver is fighting for the Touring Car championship with four races remaining in the 12-event series, as he sits second in points.
Matt Travis, the Texas veteran racer, was right in the fight for the TC action with his No. 26 CLASSIC BMW BMW M235iR with the fourth fastest speed at 2:06.145 (86.95 m.p.h.) with Jayson Clunie, the former open-wheel racer from Canada, was fifth in his No. 27 CLASSIC BMW BMW M235iR with a 2:06.366 (86.83 m.p.h.). Jorgensen, returning to Touring Car competition this weekend, recorded a best of 2:09.739 (84.57 m.p.h.) in the No. 66 CLASSIC BMW BMW M235iR.
Touring car action will begin on Saturday with a 20-minute qualifying session at 8:35 a.m. MDT with Round 9, a 40-minute sprint race set for 11:30 a.m. MDT. Sunday’s TC contest is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. MDT.
All Pirelli World Challenge races can be seen live on www.world-challenge.com and the World Challenge YouTube channel. The CBS Sports Network will show the Utah races on a taped-delay basis in the near future.
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 Grahovec and the BMW M235iRacing. The BMW M235iR racing sedan also won the PWC Touring Car manufacturer’s championship in 2017.