Motor racing: Strategy change bears fruit for Yuey Tan with first race win this season

Yuey Tan admits that he will likely not retain his Porsche Carrera Asia Class B title this year but remains optimistic about his chances for the next season.
Yuey Tan admits that he will likely not retain his Porsche Carrera Asia Class B title this year but remains optimistic about his chances for the next season.PHOTO COURTESY OF YUEY TAN

Last year, Singapore racer Yuey Tan clinched the Porsche Carrera Asia Class B overall title without winning a single race, such was his consistency throughout the series.

This year, the 34-year-old decided to change tack, and go for race wins instead.

While the change in strategy has yielded mixed results in his title defence, it has landed him his first race win in his Class B (semi-professionals and amateurs) division.

That happened on Sunday in Sepang, where the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series was one of the support races for the Formula One Malaysia Grand Prix.

Said Tan, who races for Team Jebsen: "Our strategy last year was to cruise and collect; to earn points in every race.

"But now that we have one championship in the bag, we want to keep pushing and see how far we can go. We want to push as fast as humanly possible and go for gold."

However, this new strategy of driving more aggressively was Tan's "downfall" at the start of the season.

"Sometimes when you start on a new strategy you need a while to settle into it," he told The Straits Times yesterday. "The first few races, we were trying to battle against guys who were faster and everyone was not really used to it.

"This year, it's been a little bit hard - things have gone wrong and we've been involved in accidents, but over the last three weekends, we've had a lot more pace than usual."

Which was why Tan's victory in Malaysia - his first race win this season - means a lot to him and his team.

Said Tan, who also owns The Karting Arena karting circuit at Turf Club Road: "To win in Malaysia was absolutely fantastic for me and for Team Jebsen.

"It's been almost two full seasons with the team and we feel that there is so much more to achieve, and hopefully we can replicate more of this form in the season finale next month."

Canada's Wayne Shen of Modena Motorsports was second in Malaysia, while Thailand's Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak (Est Cola Thailand) finished third.

Tan is now third in the Class B standings with 151 points, behind Vutthikorn (200 points) and Chinese leader Yuan Bo (202 points).

The final two races of the season will take place in Shanghai next month, and while Tan admitted that it is "mathematically impossible" for him to retain his title, he remained optimistic about his chances for the next season.

He said: "That dream's kind of faded away and third place will be the best we can hope for.

"But the good thing is there's always next season, and I'm already discussing with Team Jebsen about what we can do next, so hopefully we'll do better then."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2016, with the headline 'Strategy change bears fruit for Tan with 1st race win'. Print Edition | Subscribe