Palm Springs, CA – This past weekend, ST Racing travelled to Palm Springs with Samantha Tan to shake off a little dust while participating in the SRO Winter Invitational at the Thermal Club race track.
Samantha Tan was excited to be back in her BMW M4 GT4 even though she had just recently returned from Dubai where she competed in a 24-Hour race. Putting in seat time and gaining more on-track experience was the goal this weekend for the young Canadian driver.
This was also the first time ST Racing’s new 2020 car livery was seen in public. The livery is a take-off of Vincent Van Gogh’s art, designed by Toronto artist, George Bucur, who also came up with the vintage look of this year’s driver suits.
The weekend included four practices, two qualifying sessions and two races. Samantha Tan ran in a mixed group of classes regrouping Cup cars, GT2’s, GT3’s, and GT4’s.
On Saturday, the 22-year old was quite pleased with her performance. After qualifying 9th in the GT4 Class, Tan finished 6th.
“The first race went well” said Tan. “I started P9 and had a good start, passing one car. Unfortunately, I was passed by a McLaren shortly after. I stayed with the pack for the first half of the stint, avoiding a few spin outs and climbing up to P5. Near the end, I got caught up in traffic, had to pass three slower GT CARS!!! (haha) and two lapped GT4s. During that time, I got passed by the Compass McLaren so I ended the race with a clean car in P6. Overall, it was a good warm-up race for the start of the season and I will be pushing harder for the second race.”
Sunday’s race was run under caution for most of the duration due to a two-car incident very early in the race, and later when a BMW spun out and hit the wall in the “esses” ending under a red flag.
“Right after the start, I narrowly missed the two cars in Turn 1” said Tan. “I had some fun battles with an Audi, but unfortunately, we were under yellow for most of the race. Then, the Turner BMW hit the wall. I hope the driver’s ok. That incident caused us to end the race under red flag. We probably had about 6 green laps altogether. But, I got some good experience with race craft and I’m warmed up for the start of the SprintX season, next month at COTA.”
Everyone at ST Racing is pumped up for the season opener of the Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Championship where the top driver line-up of Samantha Tan/Jon Miller and Harry Gottsacker/Nick Wittmer will hit the newly-paved track at the Circuit of the Americas, on March 6-7-8. Stay tuned!