Colchester racer David Graves takes first win in Toyo Tires Production BMW Championship
- Credit: Archant
A Essex racing driver is elated after securing his first ever race win in the national Toyo Tires Production BMW Championship (PBMWC), writes Vicki Coles.
Colchester’s David Graves, of Graves Motorsport, won the first race of the second round PBMWC 2018, held on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit.
The number 33 driver qualified on pole for the second time this year, with a 1:50.658 lap - just 0.625 seconds ahead of Sam Strong in second place.
Despite falling back to fourth position after a poor start to the race, Graves regained third to join the pack leaders as the top three cars went side-by-side into Clearways.
A bold move on the final lap saw Graves brake late into Paddock Hill Bend and edge around the outside of teammate Strong to take the lead.
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The pair were separated by just 0.6 seconds as Graves’ BMW 320i crossed the finish line. Phil Lynch took third place, ensuring that all three podium positions were awarded to Graves Motorsport drivers for the first time in the championship.
Graves said: “My car felt like it was on rails during that race. I hoped that if I pushed myself, I had a good chance of winning, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy.
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“Sam and Phil put on the pressure, and I’d like to thank them for racing hard, but fair. I’m over-the-moon to have taken my first win, but I’m even happier that I was joined on the podium by two of my teammates.”
Race two marked a disappointing end to his weekend as an accident just off the start line caused him to spin into oncoming traffic.
Despite finishing in 17th place, Graves earned the second fastest lap of the race and scored vital points in the championship, based on the popular eighties’ E30 3-Series saloons. First place went to teammate Strong, putting Graves third overall in the series so far.
Graves returns to the track on June 17 on the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, as part of the Deutsche Festival celebration of German-made cars.