Lakeville, Conn (May 28, 2017)– The Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park did not provide very good weather for their season opener. Nonetheless, the Touring Car Round 5 of the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Grand Prix of Lime Rock on Friday was a 40-minute round filled with action. Both ST Racing drivers had a great start, but they also had their share of action. Samantha Tan’s #38 GPI Motul car slid off the track when she went wide at the outside of Turn 1, on the very first lap.
“Today, I started near the back and had an amazing start,” said Tan. “I passed a few cars right away, but went a bit too far towards the outside of the first turn, and my two wheels dropped into the grass. It had rained all day, and my car was sent into the wet grass and towards the forest. I ended up backing the car into a tree. But I was able to get back into the race, and managed to pass four people. I learned a lot.”
Tan added, “This is my very first time at Lime Rock, and I have to say, it’s pretty challenging. However, it’s a lot of fun when you get the corners right.”
Tan’s teammate, Nick Wittmer was really happy with his first race of the weekend, but talked about how difficult it is to pass at Lime Rock.
“I lost quite a few positions right on the start, fell to 14th place, but got back up to eighth place, which is a very good thing here, because you cannot pass at this track, there is no passing room whatsoever, but I made it through, and I was able to pass Anthony Magagnoli (# 80) with whom I had battled with for the whole race, and grabbed eighth place on the last lap. I’m very happy with my race because I collected more points and moved up to third in the Championship, just a few points away from second. ”
The whole ST Racing Team was pumped up for Round 6 on Saturday with partly sunny skies and warmer weather prevailing. Even though the Lime Rock track is short (1.5-mile), fast and intense, Nick Wittmer ran a great race, and went from eighth place to fourth. It was a constant battle between the top four drivers, especially on the last laps. Wittmer almost captured 3rd place for a podium finish, but he drove a smart race and was ecstatic with his fourth place finish because he managed to move into second place in the Championship points.
Samantha Tan gained positions right from the start of the race, but while she was trying to pass a car in front of her, the guy braked at the apex, and in order to avoid him, she put two wheels off track and ended up in the grass. Tan quickly rejoined the race, and worked hard to make her way back up the field. Tan was all smiles at the end of the race, because although the results did not show it, she had showed a lot of grit, she never gave up, and she found a new confidence in her driving.
Samantha Tan (GPI-Motul-BMW M235iR #38) “I had an amazing race today. I went off track at one point, in order to avoid a car that braked right in front of me at the apex. But I continued, and caught up to the field, and started passing people. I was battling with car #2 (Carini) for the majority of the race. I was about to pass him going into the brake zone in Turn 1, I went a bit wide and then the engine turned off, so I went off into the grass to try and get the car going, and by the time I did, I was a lap down. I went back out, and passed a few more cars. On the very last lap, I almost passed someone going through Turn 7, but it wasn’t close enough. Overall, it was a really fun race, and I can’t wait for the next race. I have to thank Motul for their great support and look forward to doing well for them, in the next race.”
Nick Wittmer (GPI-Motul-BMW M235iR #91) “Race 2 was amazing. I had an awesome start. Started 8th and finished fourth. Once I got into 4th, it was just so tight, I couldn’t pass, so I waited for someone to make a mistake. The ST Racing Team gave me such a great car and we got great points this weekend. That was the whole plan: Don’t do anything stupid, keep the car clean. Not one scratch on the car, and we’re second in the Championship now. Now, we need to try and go hunt down that Audi. I love my BMW M235iR and I love this Team. Can’t thank our sponsors enough, GPI, Fuse Lenses, and Motul for their support.”
The PWC Touring Car racing from Lime Rock will premiere on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday June 7, at 8:00 PM EDT. Check your local listings for additional broadcasts and channel information.
The PWC Touring Car next official race is scheduled for August 11-13 at the Grand Prix at Utah Motorsports Complex.
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.