Colchester racer Graves starts season with two podium places

Colchester racing driver David Graves in action at Donington Park. Picture: GRAVES RACING

Colchester racing driver David Graves in action at Donington Park. Picture: GRAVES RACING - Credit: Archant

Colchester racing driver David Graves is off to a flying start in the 2018 Toyo Tires Production BMW Championship (PBMWC) after securing two podium finishes in the season opener at Leicestershire’s Donington Park, writes Vicki Cole.

The number 33 driver secured pole position in qualification with a time of 1:27.094, but finished race one in second place behind William Davison in a close fought battle that saw the pair separated by just 0.299 seconds.

Davison took the advantage when Graves ran wide at the Old Hairpin bend and the drivers continued to swap positions throughout the race, before a brake calliper failure on the last corner sealed David’s fate.

After starting race two from second on the grid, Graves’ BMW 320i had driver Sam Strong hot on its tail, with just 0.9 seconds separating the top three cars at the end of the fourth lap.

Strong overtook Graves, but David regained his place in lap ten with a bold move that saw him flat out in fifth gear down Craners Curves. He finished in second place, just 1.446 seconds behind Davison.

Graves, who races with the Graves Motorsport team, said: “Donington Park was challenging but enjoyable.

“Although I would have liked to have started the season with a race win, William and Sam thoroughly deserved their positions and ensured the weekend was a fine example of what motorsport should be about; racing door handle to door handle at more than 100mph without any contact.

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“I’m delighted to have taken home two second place trophies and thankful to my team for their hard work.”

Graves finished third overall in last year’s national PBMWC, a one-make race series, based on the popular eighties’ E30 3-Series saloons.

The championship races at tracks around the UK, including local track Snetterton and the UK home of Formula One, Silverstone.

Tight restrictions on modifications and a strict testing regime ensure the competition is fought on the drivers’ skill level, and the rear wheel drive cars make for lively track action.

Graves returns to the circuit on 20 May on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix layout.