June 20, 2023.- Virginia International Raceway witnessed a weekend of exhilarating racing in Round 4 of the GT World Challenge America series. The #38 car, driven by Samantha Tan and Neil Verhagen in the Pro-Am class, delivered an outstanding performance in a weekend that marked Neil’s debut with the ST Racing team in GTWC America, replacing John Edwards.
Race 1 showcased the skill and determination of the drivers as they battled fiercely on track. The #38 car delivered an impressive performance in qualifying courtesy of some hot laps from Samantha and Neil. Starting 7th in class on the grid, the pair put in consistent lap times and stayed out of trouble to fly up the order, securing a remarkable 2nd place finish in the Pro-Am class by the time the chequered flag came out.
The competition intensified in race 2, with the #38 car once again displaying its prowess. Samantha Tan and Neil Verhagen, this time starting 5th overall and 4th in the Pro-Am class, exhibited exceptional driving which, together with the team’s strategic decision-making, allowed them to secure another impressive 2nd place finish, fighting for the overall victory throughout the entire second half of the race.
The results achieved at Virginia International Raceway are a testament to the relentless determination demonstrated by the drivers and the entire ST Racing team. As they continue to compete in the GT World Challenge America series, Samantha Tan and Neil Verhagen are poised to build on their success and strive for even greater achievements in the races to come.
Samantha Tan, driver/team co-owner: “What a phenomenal weekend for us at VIR with two podium finishes, a fast lap, and hard charger award (started 11th and finished 5th). After so much bad luck, we’ve finally turned it around and got the results! It was Neil’s first weekend with us — I think he fit right in and did an amazing job. The team gave us an absolute rocket to fight with, we kept it clean and brought home two second Pro-Am finishes, one of which was P2 overall. We’re definitely vying for that top step next time at Road America! The boys at STR38 Motorsports had an incredible weekend as well, scoring 3 podiums, a fastest lap, and a very well-deserved hard charger award (Harry and Chandler) for passing 30 cars in race 1.”
Kenneth Tan, team principal: “After all the tough trials and tribulations of the first few races in 2023, we’ve finally been able to pierce through all those challenges and achieve what I always knew our team is capable of doing. We have the talent, the passion, and teamwork to achieve great things together and our performance at VIR really showcased that. Most importantly, we are all having great fun working together and winning. Sam just keeps getting better as a driver and I am so proud of her. Also a shout out to Neil Verhagen for practically flying in at the start of the race weekend and quickly gelling with the team and driving the car to its potential all weekend. Also to BMW Motorsport for their continued support. Here’s looking forward to Road America!”
Neil Verhagen, driver: “Honestly couldn’t have thought of a better way to start with Samantha Tan Racing like we did this weekend in VIR. A huge thank you to everyone in the team for making me feel so welcomed and how easy everyone was to work with! Samantha did a great job all weekend! The team really deserved those two podiums. And on Sunday fighting for the overall win was just awesome! It was my first time racing back on US tracks since leaving to race in Europe and I loved it! Can’t wait to be back and drive again!”
Rounds nine and ten of this year’s GT World Challenge America will take Samantha Tan Racing to Road America on 18-19-20 August. Prior to that, the North American team, once again in collaboration with Rinaldi Racing, will take on the 24 Hours of Spa, the third round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, from June 29 to July 2 at the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.