Former Caterham F1 Academy member Weiron Tan will make the full-time switch to sportscar competition in 2017, after signing up to contest the China GT Championship behind the wheel of Absolute Racing’s Bentley Continental GT3.
Although still only 22, Tan has enjoyed a varied career to-date. Singled out as one to watch from an early age, he clinched both the Malaysian Super Series Sports Production and Lotus SuperCup Asia GT4 crowns in 2011, lifted the runner-up laurels in Protyre Formula Renault 2.0 UK two years later and tallied no fewer than four victories and six podium finishes in America’s Pro Mazda Championship in 2015.
Steering his focus from single-seaters to sportscars, the Malaysian most recently raced in the LMP3 category of the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series – claiming a best result of fourth place on home turf at Sepang in the season finale – while continuing to broaden his international experience with an invitation to try out Manor’s LMP2 contender in the prestigious FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) rookie test in Bahrain last November.
Having had his appetite whetted, Tan is excited about the prospect of further honing his craft and demonstrating his mettle alongside Korean team-mate Andrew Kim in the fiercely-disputed China GT Championship, with 11 entries already confirmed for the GT3 class ahead of the opening round of the campaign at Goldenport Motor Park in Beijing on 12/13 May.
“I’d like to thank Absolute Racing for this amazing opportunity and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead!” enthused the Kuala Lumpur-born ace, who is managed by Williams Harfield Sports Group. “I participated in the official pre-season test last weekend, and my first taste of the Bentley Continental GT3 was very positive. Beijing International Circuit wasn’t the best track to exploit the car’s full potential due to its tight-and-twisty layout, but it was still pretty evident that it’s a truly awesome piece of kit!
“It produces a lot of downforce – more than I expected – and is unquestionably a different beast to what I’ve been used to driving before, but I didn’t find any difficulty in adapting right away and I believe my stint in single-seaters made it a much easier switch.
“Given that this is the first full sportscar season of my career, the main challenge will be to learn as much as I can about GT racing and gain as much experience as possible along the way. Consistent progress is the goal and whilst my target is always to win the championship, the calibre of the opposition – with a number of factory drivers on the entry list – ensures it will be far from a walk in the park. That said, Andrew and I gelled well at the test and I think we’ll make a great team. I can’t wait to get going!”
Source. Russell Atkins Media