FROM CAPITOL HILL TO LONG BEACH AN INCREDIBLE WEEK FOR SAMANTHA TAN
Long Beach, CA (April 15, 2019) – It was a week filled with emotion for ST Racing’s Samantha Tan, as she experienced two firsts in her career as a driver. On Tuesday evening, she represented SRO America at the Congressional Motorsports caucus on Capitol Hill alongside other drivers from IMSA and NASCAR, and the legendary Mario Andretti. The Foyer at Rayburn House Office Building was filled with motorsports officials from different sanctioning bodies such as FIA, ACCUS, USAC, SCCA, IndyCar and distinguished members of Congress. After signing autographs and doing photos, Tan made time for a quick chat with Kurt Busch, before flying back to California for class the next day.
Between attending classes and promo events for the Grand Prix of Long Beach during the week, when Friday came around, Samantha Tan was looking forward to getting on track for practice. Another first for Tan, as she had never raced at Long Beach before, and this would be her first 50-minute Sprint race in GT4 America on the 1.75-mile street circuit.
Even though she had only driven this track once on the simulator, Tan found a big difference when came time for the real thing. “Being on this track for the first time, I had to be more careful at first” commented Tan. “The track is much more narrow and has a lot less grip than on the simulator. As I got comfortable and used to it, it became a lot of fun to drive. It’s an incredible track. It’s nice to be close to home as well. It’s kind of like a home track for me, as this is where I live during the school year. And today, I was the fastest BMW on track.”
The green flag dropped for Sunday morning’s race under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60”s. Samantha Tan started 16th on the 20-car grid and drove a solid race on the challenging Long Beach street course. The ST Racing driver avoided debris from a two-car incident in the first few laps of the race, and kept charging to gain positions throughout the race. Getting through many tight first-gear corners, Tan pulled a great pass on car #11 (Tony Gaples) on the front straight. The 21-year old driver kept her focus and moved up four positions to finish 12th overall, and 5th in her Am class. Once again, her BMW M4 GT4 was the top-finishing BMW on track.
Tan was simply elated at the end of the race, as the main goal had been to get some good driving experience and bring the car home in one piece.
“The race went really well for me”, she said. “With Turns 1 and 2 being so narrow, we all tried to just cram into the corners, and luckily everyone made it through perfectly fine. It was a clean start, so, pat on the back to all the drivers for keeping the start clean. Unfortunately, five minutes into the race, there was a full-course yellow, because a Mustang spun and hit the wall, and then a Porsche hit him, in front of me, so there was debris all over the track. But luckily, I made it through with some good maneuvers and got out of that mess cleanly. And right at the re-start, there was another full-course yellow when car #71 got into the tire wall at Turn 1, but that was a quick clean-up. We only had about 20 minutes of actual racing, so during that time, I was just focusing on hitting my marks, and staying super focused. I ran some really good consistent laps. I got to battle with a McLaren car, (Tony Gaples), we were going at it for about 2 or 3 laps, I was trying to get him in Turn 1, but couldn’t quite make it, but then, I got a really good shot at it, in the hairpin, last corner, and just got up next to him on the front straight, pulled up next to him on the outside, as we were coming down into Turn 1, and I just braked a slight bit later, and got him right there. It was a great feeling. Overall, it was a really clean race for everybody, and I brought the car home clean. Finished P5 in class, so I am really happy. This is my first time here, after just four sessions on track this weekend, so I am really proud of myself. It was amazing being able to experience this here at Long Beach. I’ve watched this race every year, and to be able to participate in this race is a dream come true. We did so well here this weekend, it’s incredible. I’d like to thank the Team for giving me a good car, Jon Miller who guided me, and the fans for their great support.”
“This whole week was just so surreal for me” added the young Canadian driver.
CBS Sports Network will premiere the Streets of Long Beach Sprint race on Sunday, April 21 at 7:00 pm EDT - check your local listings for channel and encore broadcast times.
Be sure to join us for the next Pirelli GT4 America West SprintX event on June 7-9 at Sonoma Raceway. Follow along with live timing and scoring, free live streaming, or free satellite radio on SiriusXM; timing and scoring and live stream links can be found on www.GT4- America.com, and SiriusXM will broadcast on channel 383 (983 app).
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 highly experienced guys were put together for the 2019 Pirelli GT4 America West season. Both ST Racing drivers, Samantha Tan and Jason Wolfe are driving the BMW M4 GT4 in the GT4 America West SprintX class. Kenneth Tan is the Team Principal, Ben Distaulo the team manager, Alex Dupré, team engineer, and Nic Jonnson as Samantha Tan’s coach.
About Pirelli GT4 America
The GT4 America championship utilizes GT4 homologated race cars in two popular race formats - Sprint and SprintX. The past season has seen explosive growth in the GT4 category and has resulted in a wide range of cars that are eligible to race in the GT4 America Series, including the BMW M4 GT4, Chevy Camaro GT4.R, Audi R8 LMS GT4, Ford Mustang GT4, and the Mercedes-AMG GT4. Among other GT4-spec cars are the successful Porsche Cayman GT4 CSMR, McLaren 570S GT4, Panoz Avezzano GT4, and many others.
GT4 America offers two regional series integrated within our SprintX Championship -West & East. Each regional series is designed to offer new drivers a localized race program that is cost effective and competitive, with all the benefits of racing in a professional national championship. Each region will consist of five (5) rounds at top-tier circuits in North America in a two-driver, Bronze-rated format.
SRO Motorsports Group: the global leader in GT racing
With more than 25 years’ experience at the forefront of a continuously evolving industry, SRO Motorsports Group is the established international leader in GT racing.
Best known for the development and implementation of the GT3 and GT4 regulations, SRO promotes and organizes championships that embrace professional and amateur competitors. Its portfolio of highly regarded series spans Europe, America and Asia, while its flagship Intercontinental GT Challenge contests events on five different continents.
The 2019 the season will see more than 100 races run under the SRO Motorsports Group banner, highlighted by the prestigious Total 24 Hours of Spa. In addition to promotion and organisation, the company operates SRO Race Centre by MMC – a high-level technical centre at Circuit Paul Ricard – and provides the ultimate driving opportunities on world- renowned facilities through Curbstone Track Events.
SRO Motorsports Group is chaired by company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel. With offices in London, Paris, Liège, Hong Kong and Austin, its work is facilitated by a dedicated global team of full-time and freelance staff.
Anne Roy | Cell: 514 627-0191 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.samanthatanracing.com