Bowmanville, ON – Although the Victoria Day Speedfest weekend started out on a bit of a rough note for Samantha Tan, her teammate Nick Wittmer scored a podium finish for ST Racing in the first PWC race, at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Samantha Tan was excited to begin her race weekend with Motul on board as a new sponsor, and she was hoping to give them and the St Racing Team, a good result. However, Race 1 did not go exactly as planned, because of a 4-car incident in Turn 3, involving Tan’s #38 BMW M235R machine. Tan did manage to continue and was able to collect some points, because the race ended on a red flag, after only 6 laps of green time.
“On the re-start, we were going three-wide at the apex, when some cars crashed in front of us,” said Tan. “The Lotus car (#72) went sideways across the track, and people started piling up around him. I managed to go the left side to avoid him, but someone swung over and hit me, and my tie-rod broke. I still managed to continue, but at that point, the officials red-flagged and checkered the race. I wish I had done better for my new sponsor Motul, but we’ll get it back for our second race.”
Nick Wittmer, who had been taken out at Virginia a few weeks ago, by a competitor, couldn’t thank his Team enough for putting his car back together in time for this weekend, and giving him such a great car for qualifying. Wittmer started second for Race 1, and he was totally impressed at how the car ran well. He wanted to battle for first place but had to settle for a second place finish because the race ended on a red flag, “The car was really awesome right from the start,” commented Wittmer, “but the full-course yellow came out, and from then on, we couldn’t really do much more, as we had very little time to race. It’s unfortunate about the red flag, but we’re still very happy with our second place finish, especially after that big incident we had in Virginia. The guys on the Team worked hard and gave me such a great car.”
The weather throughout the weekend was unusually cold for this time of year, which did not help the track conditions. It was cold, windy, and the threat of rain loomed on Sunday morning.
Hence, Race 2 on Sunday was all about making the right choice of tires. The ST Racing team opted for rain tires, as did the other top running teams. Unfortunately, the rain did not come in time, the tires starting going away, and the ST Racing cars were losing grip quickly, and the drivers had to work hard to keep the cars up to speed and on track. In the end, Nick Wittmer finished 6th and Samantha Tan moved up a few positions and finished 19th.
Samantha Tan (GPI-Motul-BMW M235R #38) “We were the first cars on track this morning, and we thought it was going to rain this morning, because the forecast had announced this all week, so , during the last 10 minutes on the grid, we all started scrambling to put on rain tires. Unfortunately, it did not rain at all during the first half of the race, and our tires got way too hot, and it was really slippery. I tried my best to keep up with the pack and do my best to put as much power down as much as possible, but the car just wasn’t holding, wasn’t gripping. Around the last 15 minutes of the race, it started raining, a lot, I started doing really well in the rain, I was gaining time, I passed a few car and gained some positions. We kept the car intact for our next race at Lime Rock next week. I think we’ll do better then. I really need to thank Motul for giving me the opportunity to take over their Instagram profile for the weekend. It was a lot of fun for me, and I hope it was fun for our fans.”
Nick Wittmer (GPI-Motul-BMW M235R #91) “We relied on our weather channel that was announcing rain for today, so the whole Team, all of us together, we decided to go with the rain tires. All the top guys were going with rains also, so we went with that. Even though it was a bad call, for us, it turned out very well because all the guys who took the rain tires, and were ahead of me in the championship, I ended up beating them all. We had an amazing race. Greg Liefooghe (car #20) and I had a great battle with each other. We both had wet tires on dry pavement. That was a crazy race. We were drifting all over the place. It was like being on ice. It was worse than wet conditions. All in all, I was very happy to finish 6th, because I made up a lot of points in this race.”
Touring Car racing from CTMP will premiere on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, May 31st at 10:00 p.m. EDT. Check your local listings for additional broadcasts and channel information. The PWC series now moves to Lime Rock Park for TC Rounds 5 and 6 at the end of this week (May 26-27).
Samantha Tan’s race fans can follow her on samanthatanracing.com, Instagram (@samanthatan_racing) (samanthaatan), Facebook (STRSamantha) and on Twitter (@STR_Samantha).
About ST Racing:
ST Racing was officially launched last October (2016). A Team of experienced guys was put together for this year’s 2017 Pirelli World Challenge season. Both ST Racing drivers, Samantha Tan and Nick Wittmer are driving a new car, the BMW M235iR in the TC class. Kenneth Tan is the Team Principal, Ben Distaulo the team manager, and Alex Dupré, team engineer. Pierre Savoy is back on board as driver coach for Samantha Tan.
About the Pirelli World Challenge
The Pirelli World Challenge is a North American auto racing series that is managed by WC Vision. The World Challenge series was born in 1990, and celebrated its 25th anniversary season in 2014. The series consists of seven driver classifications and six classes of vehicles: Grand Touring (GT), GT Cup (new for 2015 – for Porsche 991 Cup cars), GTS, Touring Car (TC), “Touring Car B-spec” (TCB) since 2012, and “Touring Car A” (TCA), new in 2014. In 2014, a new GTA driver classification was established for professional drivers that do not make their living primarily from racing. In 2016, the SprintX class was established: a two-driver, 60-minute sprint event with GT and GTS cars, for a total of eight classes. The purpose of the Pirelli World Challenge® Championships is to provide teams, manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers a competitive production-based race series in which to prove their products.