Colchester racer Graves wins national title

David Groves with the Toyo Tires Production BMW Championship trophy. Picture: VICKI COLES

David Groves with the Toyo Tires Production BMW Championship trophy. Picture: VICKI COLES - Credit: Archant

A Colchester racing driver is celebrating after winning the 2018 Toyo Tires Production BMW Championship (PBMWC).

David Graves in action. Picture: VICKI COLES

David Graves in action. Picture: VICKI COLES - Credit: Archant

David Graves, from Graves Motorsport, topped the leaderboard of the national series, based on the popular eighties’ E30 saloons, to claim the championship trophy at the end of the season’s seven weekends.

The number 33 driver finished on the podium in all but two races of this year’s competition, securing a total of seven wins and qualifying in pole position four times at circuits such as Brands Hatch and Donington Park.

Graves said: “Motor racing is a team sport, but that can often get overlooked because spectators only see the car and driver on track.

“Winning the championship has taken so much hard work and dedication, not only from myself, but from everyone in my team. Winning a national championship has always been a dream of mine and now I have finally done it, thanks to their help. I genuinely can’t thank them all enough.

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“I would also like to say thank you to all the competitors, as well as the marshals and volunteers who give their time up for free so we can race.”

Graves’ victory was secured at one of the last ever competitive races at Rockingham Motor Speedway before the track closes in December. His BMW 320i marked the event by setting PBMWC’s fastest ever lap at the track in the championship’s 14 year history and claiming a race win.

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He first entered the UK-wide championship in 2012 after graduating from oval racing. The 34-year-old’s performance has improved every year, seeing him finish third in the competition in 2017 before being crowned 2018 champion.

He now heads his own race team, running cars for eight drivers across PBMWC and its sister series Toyo Tires Racing Saloons (TTRS) alongside his father Peter and brother Karl.

Racing has always been a family affair for the Graves’, with race support including David’s mum Kaye, cousin, Jon, brother-in-law, James and sister-in-law Gemma, as well as his wife Vicki and friends.

Graves’ championship winning car will be on display at Silverstone’s Motorsport Days Show on 2-3 November.

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