November 24, 2021.- ST Racing closed an incredibly successful 2021 campaign in the endurance-focused 24H SERIES last weekend with their seventh consecutive podium of the season. A result that earned the Canadian team the GT team championship in the general classification as well as the drivers’ title in the general GT classification for Samantha Tan, Chandler Hull and Jon Miller.
Heading into this weekend’s Hankook 24H SEBRING, the 2021 season finale for the 24H SERIES, ST Racing was 11 points ahead thanks to three category wins in Dubai, Barcelona and Hungary, as well as three podiums. additional at Mugello, Paul Ricard and Hockenheim. Consistency was therefore the name of the championship-winning game for the Canadian team, a goal achieved almost immediately with the team’s eighth consecutive pole position in the GT4 class, a race that also included the six-hour non-championship event. in Abu Dabi.
At no time has ST Racing been beaten in qualifying for the 24H SERIES in 2021.
This unwavering focus continued in the race proper. Faced with heavy rain, which fell shortly before the start of the 24-hour Sebring International Raceway event on Saturday evening, and in an effort to avoid a potential scrum in the middle of the field on poor visibility, Jon Miller has opted for a pitroad downhill rather than the main start-finish trail. It was a strategic call that secured a good start for the # 438 BMW at the moderate expense of the track position. Indeed, within an hour, the very experienced Jon Miller was already back on the lineup of the leader of the GT4 class.
Throughout the night, metronome stints from Samantha Tan, Chandler Hull, Nick Wittmer and debutant Bryson Morris – during which the quartet continued to improve their pace considerably – kept the # 438 BMW M4 in good contention. for the victory in the GT4 class.
By mid-afternoon the next day, Sebring’s notoriously difficult surface had taken its toll on several competitors. However, steady progress, fast lap times and smooth and efficient pit stops allowed ST Racing to climb to 2nd place in the category the next morning, a position ST Racing held all the way to the flag for ensure his seventh podium in the 24H SERIES on the rebound.
The result not only secures the crowns of the GT teams in the general classification and the GT drivers in the general classification, but also the GT Junior Cup and the GT Ladies Cup for Samantha Tan. These distinctions join the GT4 Teams and GT4 Drivers championships that ST Racing had already put out of reach of its rivals during the previous round at the Hungaroring.
Samantha Tan, co-owner / driver: ” What year ! It was our first year in endurance racing – and my first time at Sebring, in fact – and we were entering this race 11 points clear in the championship, so we knew we needed a clean race. On top of that, we were always aiming for the win, and I think the whole team made a major effort to make sure we were fighting until the very last minute. It goes to show that this is a team sport: the whole crew and all the pilots went to great lengths to ensure that we were successful in a year we were looking for. to learn as much as possible about endurance. races. Ultimately my goal is Le Mans and this year has been a major stepping stone towards that. I can’t thank BMW Motorsport enough for their support throughout the season, and to come out of this weekend with six league titles, I couldn’t be happier!
Kenneth Tan, Team Leader: “We came to Sebring with the utmost respect for this track and prepared our # 438 BMW M4 GT4 with what we thought would make it the most durable and reliable for what was to be a 24 hour race. atrocious. Many told us it was very difficult to finish just 12 hours in Sebring, let alone 24! So our aim was to preserve the car at all costs and to make sure we finished at least P5 in order to win the GT Teams Championship overall. Goals that we comfortably exceeded. Our car was very well prepared and ran without a single mechanical problem throughout the race, which I think allowed us to be in P2 after 21 hours of racing. When we were confident we had done enough to win the overall GT title, that’s when we built up the pressure and went for the P1. Unfortunately, our previous conservative strategy, in which we raced at just 90 percent of the car’s potential, made it a Herculean task of winning two laps over the class leader with just five hours to go. But we gave it our valiant effort and got closer with 20 minutes to go. I have to send a BIG thank you to our partners Bas Koeten Racing for their incredible support during our races in Europe. This achievement was totally a team effort and each person contributed to make it possible. I am so proud to be part of this team and we look forward to a new adventure with our new BMW M4 GT3 cars for 2022. See you in six weeks in Dubai!
Ben Distaulo, team leader: “I want to thank Ken Tan, my entire crew, Bas Koeten Racing, BMW Motorsport and each of our drivers for doing such a good job all season. None of this would have been possible without their hard work and dedication. Despite all the obstacles of the trip this year, ST Racing never gave up and kept pushing to achieve the goal we set for ourselves at the start of the season of winning every championship we were eligible for. Thanks to the 24H SERIES for the unparalleled level of hospitality and support. We are already anticipating the start of the 2022 season in just under two months, which will provide us with a whole new set of challenges as we move into the GT3 class.
Jon Miller, driver: “It was a great performance. When we decided to embark on the entire 24H SERIES this season, our goal was to win, not only the GT4 class championship, but also, once we really got in our momentum and we realized what there was to play for, the global GT teams’ championship too. To clinch the title and complete the season at Sebring – at home – is an incredible feeling. All the credit to Samantha and Ken Tan, Ben Distaulo and all my co-pilots who performed their roles perfectly throughout the year. Coming home with a 2nd place finish to Sebring on the same lap as the leader is a major accomplishment, and if a couple of things had gone differently we probably could have won this race as well. We are all extremely proud. We are already looking forward to the next challenge in Dubai in 2022 as we move to GT3.
Chandler Hull, driver: “Honestly, it hasn’t sunk yet – it usually takes a few days! Coming into the ST Racing family as a “new guy”, being greeted so warmly and instantly feeling like part of the family, is an incredible feeling. We knew when we got to Sebring that ST Racing had a good chance of winning the overall GT teams title if we kept our noses clean and did what we did best. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish this year, and obviously I want to thank Ben Distaulo for all of his hard work, all of my teammates for their efforts, and Samantha and Ken for creating this great team. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to travel all over the world and drive these great machines. I’m at a loss for words!
Along with six championship trophies in 2021, ST Racing could also celebrate a successful first 24-hour endurance race for 17-year-old Bryson Morris at Sebring. Two-time SKUSA Pro Tour karting champion and, more recently, Mazda MX-5 Challenge Series favorite, Bryson completed three stints and demonstrated impressive cunning behind the wheel of a GT4 car which, before this weekend end, the young American had never driven. His teammate Nick Wittmer, back in the # 438 BMW for the first time since this year’s 24 Hours of BARCELONA, behaved in a typically exuberant manner, offering both speed and professionalism at the wheel as well as great wisdom. racing to his teammates – new and established – in the garage.
Bryson Morris, driver: “It was a lot of firsts for me at the 24 Hours of SEBRING: my first 24 hour race, my first race with ST Racing, and my first real professional race. It was a very exciting experience to go from dry to wet and dry back to my second stint, which made it very difficult to hold onto the car. Overall the car and the team were faultless throughout the race, helping us to finish second in the class. Congratulations also to the team for the title in all GT teams!
Nick Wittmer, driver: “We had a great qualifying session, putting the car on pole for the last race of the season. The guys did an amazing job preparing the BMW M4 GT4 perfectly for a full day. We couldn’t have done it without them. My co-drivers all did a great job during the race, doing consistent laps throughout the race. Our goal was to keep the car safe and to finish in one piece, which is exactly what we did and what led to our winning the 2021 24H SERIES Overall GT Teams Championship. I’m very proud to be part of this amazing team and can’t wait to drive the new BMW M4 GT3 next season!
After a successful 24H SERIES debut in the GT4 class, ST Racing will return for another endurance racing program with CREVENTIC in 2022, which will start at the Dubai Autodrome in the United Arab Emirates on January 13-14-15.
Press Service Report