Wittmer, Travis on the TC Victory Podium Saturday in Utah, Fast Track Racing/CLASSIC BMW Team Top 10 in GTS
2nd & 3rd in TC Round 9, Strom/Jorgensen, Grahovec/Ohmacht in Top 10 in GTS
GRANTSVILLE, Utah – Battling high heat and some windy conditions Saturday at Utah Motorsports Campus, the Fast Track Racing/CLASSIC BMW team recorded finishes on the victory podium in Touring Car and in the top-ten in the GTS SprintX action in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Utah.
After Friday’s 100-plus heat, the Utah desert was a searing location for the road racing action on Saturday, but Karl Wittmer and Matt Travis didn’t mind the conditions with their respective BMW M235iR sedans in the 40-minute Touring Car sprint event at the 3.048-mile, 14-corner road circuit southwest of Salt Lake City.
Wittmer, still in the hunt for the Touring Car drivers’ championship with three races remaining in the 12-event campaign, drove his No. 91 CLASSIC BMW M235iR to a close runner-up finish in the 18-lap Round 9 event, just 0.574 seconds behind the winner Vesko Kozarov. Karl applied pressure to the leader throughout the 40-minute contest but couldn’t slide by for the top spot.
“This finish felt like the top step of podium today,” said Wittmer. “The Classic BMW guys gave me a perfect car today. I thought I had a shot at Vesko but he was just too good today. The track surface wasn’t greasy, but the heat played a factor. You had to manage your tires and the race car. I gave it all I had today. It was tough with the near 100-degree heat again.”
Travis, in the No. 26 CLASSIC BMW M235iR, stayed with Kozarov and Wittmer for the majority of the 40 minutes, but had to settle for third, just 3.089 seconds back of the winner.
“It was good race for us,” said Travis. “The Classic BMW boys gave me a great setup and we had a very strong car. I just didn’t have the pace for Vesko and Karl. But we are on the podium again. The wind wasn’t the factor today but the heat sure was. We had to control our tires, engine and the car overall to get the most out of it. It was a fun race and looking forward to Sunday’s event.”
Jayson Clunie drove the No. 27 CLASSIC BMW M235iR to the tenth position Saturday in the Touring Car event.
In the 60-minute, two-driver GTS SprintX competition, Brett Strom and Daren Jorgensen finished eighth in the Amateur category Saturday in the No. 113 JET Environmental/CLASSIC BMW BMW M4 GT4 after starting 28th overall and 13th in the Amateur division.
The No. 92 ETF Global/CAO/CLASSIC BMW BMW M4 GT4 with Toby Grahovec and Chris Ohmacht ran as high as second on lap 16 but the pair had to settle for tenth in the GTS SprintX Amateur class, while the No. 17 Raphael & Associates/CLASSIC BMW BMW M4 GT4 with Justin Raphael and Stevan McAleer took 11th in the Pro-Am division Saturday.
Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge action get underway at 9:00 a.m. MDT with the Round 10 Touring Car sprint race with the 60-minute GTS SprintX competition starting at 11 a.m. MDT.
All Pirelli World Challenge races can be seen live on www.world-challenge.com and the World Challenge YouTube channel.
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.