Lakeville, Conn. – 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’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 8th 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 8th place to 4th. 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 4th place finish because he managed to move into 2nd 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 2 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.