Colchester racer Graves claims a double at Brands Hatch
Colchester racing driver David Graves secured two race wins in the Production BMW Championship (PBMWC) at this year's Brands Hatch Deutsche Fest - less than a month after his car suffered considerable damage in a crash at the same circuit, writes Vicki Cole.
The number 33 racer returned to the track in his rebuilt 320i, complete with new German flag livery, to score two first place results in the annual celebration of German-made cars.
After qualifying in third, Graves was soon in the lead, until competitive driving from William Davison and Matt Swaffer saw him lose two places.
With five laps to go, the trio were separated by just 0.193 seconds, before contact between the top two cars saw Davison plough into the gravel on the last corner.
Graves crossed the line in second place behind Swaffer, who was later disqualified for ‘driving in a manner incompatible with safety’, leaving the Essex driver to take the win.
The Graves Motorsport racer said: “Race one was hard work and it was a shame how it ended, but, when we are racing that close together, unfortunately accidents can happen.
“Thankfully nobody was hurt and I was grateful not to be involved, especially after the collision at the last race meeting.”
Graves started on pole position for race two, but Davison took the lead several laps in. Refusing to back down, Graves fought hard to close the gap between him and first place from 0.931 to 0.425 seconds.
Despite setting the fastest lap of the race, it wasn’t quite enough for Graves to retake his position and he crossed the line just 0.147 seconds behind Davison.
But the Motor Sports Association (MSA) later excluded Davison from the event following a post-race incident involving his pit crew, leaving first place, and maximum championship points, to be awarded to Graves.
He said: “This is not how I like to win races, but MSA rules are enforced to ensure racing is fair and clean. I’m pleased with my performance and delighted to have got the fastest lap of the race. Hopefully I can build on that at Cadwell Park next month.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to my team for getting my car back out after the incident at Brands Hatch in May.”