April 26, 2021 (FRANCE)- ST Racing’s podium streak in the 24H SERIES sadly came to an end this weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard. Heading into the 2021 Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD, the Canadian team had taken wins at both the season-opening 24-hour race in Dubai as well as the non-championship six-hour event in Abu Dhabi one week later. Even with issues to overcome in Mugello, ST Racing still walked away with a podium finish, a result that ultimately put the #438 BMW M4 GT4 at the top of the Overall GT Teams’ standings.
Samantha Tan, Chandler Hull and Jon Miller also made an impressive start to their maiden outing at Circuit Paul Ricard, Jon posting a 2m 15.875s around the 5.842km Grand Prix circuit to secure GT4-class pole position aboard the #438 BMW M4 GT4. This was the fourth time in as many CREVENTIC events that ST Racing started at the front of its class.
Ill fortune struck ST Racing quickly in the south of France though, Chandler Hull’s first stint being cut short by an anomalous wheel hub issue, despite the teams’ typically meticulous pre-race preparation. Back out on-track after the repairs had been completed, Chandler was beginning to close down the class leader until a spike in engine temperature dramatically slowed his pace. In a bid to protect the BMW’s turbocharged 3-litre inline six-cylinder from further damage, the team opted to withdraw from the Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD.
Undeterred, and despite the frustration, ST Racing will be back in action next month at the next round at the Hockenheimring in Germany on 22-23 May.
Team manager, Kenneth Tan: “The week started out really well for our team, and until the second hour of the race, our car was running perfectly. Our crew had flown to Europe early and spent a week before the race at Circuit Paul Ricard preparing our BMW M4 GT4. After the issues we experienced at Mugello, we wanted to make sure the car ran smoothly at Paul Ricard. As we now know, that wasn’t to be and it was heartbreaking for us to relinquish our GT championship lead. Basically, we miscalculated how much more punishing these endurance races are to the car and need to readjust the replacement time of key components. We are still learning from every round of this, our first season of endurance racing, and that can only make us stronger. We have already started refining our car and the whole team cannot wait to get the BMW back on-track for the next race in Hockenheim. As a team, we are more determined than ever to rediscover the top form we showed at the beginning of the year. We will be back!”
Driver, Samantha Tan: “This was a disappointing weekend for everyone at ST Racing. Jon, Chandler and I were competing for the first time at Circuit Paul Ricard, and we all got up to speed quickly, running very strong pace during the first two days of practice. After Jon put the car on pole, we were looking forward to a fun, competitive race with our Dubai rival, PROsport Racing. Unfortunately we had two mechanical issues in the first three hours, the second of which put us out of the race altogether. We’ve been unlucky at the last two events, but we prefer to focus on the positives, and we’re looking forward to the next round at the Hockenheimring. I would also like to thank BMW Motorsport for their extremely helpful engineering support this weekend.”
Driver, Chandler Hull: “Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to translate our great pace during earlier in the week into the race itself. But the team never gave up and I really cannot thank them enough. A broken hub during our first pit stop caused them to think and act quickly, and we were back out on-track very soon after that. Unfortunately, during my stint I noticed the engine wasn’t running smoothly, so I brought the BMW back to the pits for the team to diagnose what was happening. It ended up being a terminal engine issue and we were forced to retire the car early. We’re hoping this weekend was the last of the bad luck this season, and at Hockenheim next month, we’ll be ready to race to the top once again!”
Driver, Jon Miller: “We were all hoping for more from our first trip to Paul Ricard, but it’s not all bad news! The team and drivers continue to make gains, despite the DNF. It was an unusual issue that sidelined us, but the prep, the crew’s speedy fix to our first issue and our collective pace were all hugely satisfying takeaways. Plus, as usual, we rolled off the truck with a fast car. Hopefully after our strong start to the season, our recent run of bad luck is behind us. I anticipate some strong competition at Hockenheim but it’s a circuit that should suit our car and drivers even more than Paul Ricard. I’d also like to thank Race For RP (Relapsing Polychondritis) for their continued support. It’s an honour to represent them on and off-track.”
ST Racing will be back in action this coming weekend for round two of the GT4 America Series, set to be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The team’s two-car BMW M4 GT4 line-up will be driven by Ryan Eversley and Joe Rubbo, and Tomas Mejia and Bryson Lew.
Samantha Tan meanwhile is set to make her debut in the affiliated TC America at the same venue aboard a TCX-entered BMW M2 CS Racing. Samantha has regularly competed in Pirelli World Challenge since 2016 and most recently won back-to-back GT4 SprintX teams’ championships with ST Racing in 2019 and 2020.
ST Racing will take part in all events of the 2021 24H SERIES season.
- Hankook 24H Dubai: January 14-15-16 2021 – WIN
- Hankook 6H Abu Dhabi (non-championship), Jan 22-23 2021 – WIN
- Hankook 12H Mugello: March 26-27 2021 – 2nd
- Hankook 12H Circuit Paul Ricard: April 23-24 2021 – DNF
- Hankook 12H Hockenheimring: May 22-23 2021
- Hankook 24H Portimao: July 16-17-18 2021
- Hankook 24H Barcelona: September 03-04-05 2021
- Coppa Florio Hankook 12H Sicily: October 01-02-03 2021
- Hankook 24H Sebring: November 18-19-20 2021