BMW privateer drivers scored four championships at this weekend's Pirelli World Challenge season finale races, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif., to cap the BMW's return season to PWC sprint racing competition.
Toby Grahovec, of Little Elm, Texas, was crowned TC class driver's champion after two third-place finishes in rounds 11 and 12 at the classic 2.54-mile, 11-turn road course this weekend. The Classic BMW Motorsports driver raced to 10 podium finishes in the 12 round sprint series in the No. 26 BMW M235i Racing this year, including two victories to score his first Pirelli World Challenge championship. He finished fourth in the only two races he did not podium. Classic BMW Motorsports also took the TC class Team title. BMW finished second in TC manufacturer points standings to cap an excellent inaugural season for the BMW M235i Racing in North America.
"It has been an amazing year," said Grahovec. "We received the M235i Racing cars 10 days before the first race at the Circuit of the Americas and I was the winner in the second round race that weekend. The car has been consistent and reliable throughout the season. It was easy to get it into the zone at every track and our record bears that out. The support we received from BMW was fabulous."
In the SprintX GT class, following a fourth place finish in Round 5, Michael Mills raced the No. 46 Mills Racing BMW Z4 GT3 to the top of the Round 6 podium and the SprintX GT class Sportsman driver's championship. His co-driver this weekend was BMW of North America driver John Edwards. In the previous four rounds BMWNA driver Kuno Wittmer co-drove with Mills.
Mills said, "I want to thank BMW NA for supporting me and the team this season. Kuno and John made a great contribution and, along with the engineering support we received, made all the difference in learning what was best for the Z4. We were able to build up quite a point's lead this year and to finish the last round on the top step of the podium was a great ending to a great year."
"BMW is very pleased with the success demonstrated in our first season in Pirelli World Challenge competition in quite a few years," said Victor Leleu, BMW NA Motorsport Manager. "The response to the M235i Racing platform has been outstanding and I'm delighted the inaugural season for the car in North America has resulted in both the driver's championship for Toby and the team championship for Classic BMW Motorsports. In the hands of Michael Mills and Mills Racing the BMW Z4 GT3 continued its winning ways with the SprintX GT driver and team titles. We look forward to supporting the increasing numbers of BMWs participating in Pirelli World Challenge in 2017."
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