DRIVER DOWNLOAD: Samantha Tan & Jon Miller

27 May 2020 SprintX

Samantha Tan and Jon Miller copilot the #38 BMW M4 in Pirelli GT4 America SprintX with ST Racing . This is Miller's third season with ST Racing. Miller and Tan joined forces for the first time, with two 4th place finishes during the season opener. Read their Driver Download below to get to know them!

QUICK FACTS

Team: ST Racing
Car: BMW M4 GT4

Jon Miller

Hometown: Orange, California
Favorite Track: Nurburgring and VIR
Dream Car: Alpina B3 Touring and a 996 GT3
Favorite Food: The entire menu at @PlaygroundDTSA
Favorite Hobby: Going to see live music, pre Covid-19 days
Favorite Vacation Spot: Hot: @StanielCay and Cold: @BaldFaceLodge 
Pet names: Dog: Bob Barker, a female Boxer
Favorite Movie: The Original Start Wars Trilogy, Midnight In Paris, Bad Boys 2
Favorite TV Show: Rick and Morty

Samantha Tan

Age: 22
Hometown: Stouffville, Ontario
Birthday: August 9
Favorite Track: Mosport, Spa
Daily Driver: BMW 1M
Dream Car: Ferrari FXXK
Racing Hero: Ayrton Senna 
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Hobbies: Art, piano, and video games
Occupation: Student
Favorite Vacation Spot: Tahiti
Pet names: Barkley
First Car: BMW 1M
Favorite Movie: La La Land, Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones before season 8

DEEP DIVE

How was the season opener at COTA?
Jon: COTA marked the start of my third season with ST Racing, a group that I’m proud to continue fighting for wins with. The competition is stronger than it’s ever been in GT4 America, so I’m proud that Samantha and I lead laps, brought home two 4th place finishes in the Silver Cup and that I set the fastest BMW GT4 race lap of the weekend. 

Samantha: COTA was a rollercoaster; there were many fun moments of intense, close racing but also moments of frustration. I received a late call to return a position during the second race which cost us around 20 seconds and possibly a podium. Nevertheless, Jon had two incredible stints and we left COTA as the fastest BMW with two 4th place finishes. It was a good start to the season. 

How did you get into racing?
Jon: I don’t come from a racing family, or even one with particularly strong automotive interests. I had a childhood friend who was a go kart racer and I became a fan of Formula 1 during the Schumacher era. I used LimeWire, Kazaa and BitTorrents to watch BTCC and DTM. I became a huge fan of those series and the Speed World Challenge in the early 2000s - eventually convincing my parents to send me to Skip Barber Racing school as a high school graduation gift.

Samantha: I always loved the feeling of speed. When I was a kid, my dad drove me around in his E36 M3 and I'd always nag at him to go faster. My mom used to called me a speed demon, haha. I grew up watching F1 and went to countless track days with my dad. When I was 14, I had the opportunity to sit in a 458 Challenge car and go on a hot lap with a pro driver. The intense G-forces from braking and powering through corners put the biggest smile on my face, I absolutely loved it. I was in awe at the amount of precision and technique it took to keep the car at the limit. This experience motivated me to become a race car driver myself. 

What is your favorite racing memory?
Jon: Winning the GT4 America Championship and the COTA 24hr in 2019 make it the best year of my career, results wise. But one of my favorite memories is having my dad act as spotter for me during the 2012 Daytona 24. I was double stinting at night and he was doing his best, but we threw him into the deep end without enough training and it was almost more dangerous having him on the radio than with no spotter. That’s a cool moment to look back on. 

Samantha: My favorite racing memory would be from the Portland event last year. I was racing with Scymczak in the Mercedes GT4 for the last couple laps of the race. We were side by side in the last corner and had to drag race to the finish line. I could see my team on the pit wall cheering as our sister car passed the finish in 1st place. I kept pounding on the steering wheel telling the car to go faster as Scymczak and I got closer to the checkered flag. I came 2nd by just a few feet. I was so incredibly happy for our team that race, you couldn't have anything better than a 1st and 2nd place finish. 

What’s the story behind your helmet design?
Jon: It’s my 3rd Star Wars themed helmet, but it’s not just a replica design like the previous two. It was done by Brett King and the base color is Laguna Seca Blue an OEM BMW color, one of my favorites and a nod to our first overall victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. It incorporates symbols and designs from multiple helmets in the Star Wars universe, most prominently the yellow checker flag design from Biggs Darklighter, Luke’s childhood best friend. It has my name and “May The Force Be With You” written in Aurebesh, the alphabet used in the Star Wars universe.

Samantha: I actually do not have a helmet design yet.

Something interesting about you or a hidden talent?
Jon: I can change a diaper extremely quickly. It’s less of a talent and more of a nessecary skill. I am a dad to two boys, one who is a newborn. They take no prisoners in terms of the messes they make…

Samantha: I can speak French!

If you could invite 3 people to dinner who would it be and why?
Jon: Bernie Ecclestone, Anthony Bourdain, Ernest Hemmingway. I might learn something at dinner, but the after-dinner shenanigans would be more memorable.

Samantha: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos because I think it would be a wild dinner with a very interesting conversation. 

Jon, you jumped into GT Rivals and have had a lot of success. What’s it been like to run at these tracks virtually?

Sim racing has actually been a huge struggle! The competition is so intense. It’s become a fun way to compete against our real world rivals, so in that sense it’s been extremely enjoyable in-between massive bouts of frustration. The podium finish at Barcelona was a major highlight, and even once we get back to real world racing I will continue to race and use the sim to help develop my driving skillset. 

Samantha, ST Racing is a very family-oriented team. How does it feel each weekend to know that you have helped to build a team of much support toward each person on the team?

I think part of being successful is having a strong support system. We're there for each other through the highs and the lows, and knowing that we have created this kind of family environment makes me very happy. We know we can always rely on each other and this enables us to achieve more. Regardless of the results, we always have fun.