SUZUKA, June 23 2019 - The Suzuka leg of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia series which concluded in Japan today was a bittersweet mix of highs and lows for talented driver Weiron Tan.
Weiron and Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute Racing teammate Martin Rump did well to take pole position in the GT3S class - the first time they have done so this season - for the opening race after setting a blistering 2:02.681s in qualifying.
Race one, however, did not go as planned with the duo suffering an unfortunate puncture whilst in the lead.
Forced to make an unscheduled pitstop for a tire change, the pair lost precious time but still managed to finish a decent 11th overall and seventh in class considering the circumstances after completing 28 laps in a time of 1:01:14.337s.
Starting from 15th position, race two was also a challenging affair for Weiron and Rump due to incidents early on in the race. The pair were, however, able to manage a commendable fifth overall and third in class in the race after completing 26 laps in 1:01:23.518s.
Weiron admitted they were not able to yield the desired results in Suzuka but remains optimistic for future rounds.
"To summarise it all, it was a real pity that Suzuka didn't go as we expected," said Weiron.
"We found a good setup for the car but were denied our best chance for a win. We qualified on pole for race one after a good job by my teammate but after leading the race we had a puncture and had to make an extra pitstop.
"During my stint we decided not to change tyres and saved them for the next day. Subsequently it was extremely tough for me as the tyre degradation was high but we still managed to salvage 11th overall at the end.
"For race two, I had a great start from 15th and jumped up a couple of spots on the first lap. I had to avoid a collision with another car at the final corner and was forced to use the escape road. I lost all the positions gained and had to fight back.
"But we had a good pitstop strategy and our pace was solid. Fifth overall at the end and third in our class - important points for us but still not the weekend we had hoped for.
"I am looking forward to redemption at the next round in Fuji Speedway where I last won in WEC."
The series will remain in Japan for the next leg (race seven and eight) which will be held at the Fuji Speedway on July 6-7.
Fuji will bring back fond memories for Weiron as it was where he, together with then teammates Nabil Jeffri and Jazeman Jaafar, last year entered the history books as the first all-Malaysian driver line up to win a race in the World Endurance Championships (WEC).
The trio were then competing in the LMP2 category of WEC.