Tan stays course to win by 1 point

Yuey Tan lands the Class B title but the 33-year-old is not certain if he will still be with Team Jebsen next year.
Yuey Tan lands the Class B title but the 33-year-old is not certain if he will still be with Team Jebsen next year.PHOTO: COURTESY OF CLAIRE JEDREK

First S'porean to win a Porsche Carrera division, with consistency making up for lack of race wins

In his bid to become the first Singaporean race driver to win a division in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship, Yuey Tan played the percentages, driving consistently to try and accumulate enough points for the overall win.

As it turned out yesterday in the final two races at the Shanghai International Circuit, his strategy was successful - by a single point.

Despite not winning any races in the series, the 33-year-old managed to edge out Thailand's Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak by a mere point to take the Class B title with 201 points. Hong Kong's Wayne Shen finished third.

"Unfortunately today, I didn't quite have the speed but I'm really happy to win the title, it was a very close race," he told The Sunday Times. "We had a good season and I'm very happy we managed to grab the title."

Tan was eight points ahead of Francis Tjia from Hong Kong before yesterday's final races, with Vutthikorn trailing closely in third.

He needed only to finish third in both races to win the Class B championship, which is for semi-professionals and serious amateurs.

However, he could manage only fourth- and third-place results respectively, leaving him tied on points with Vutthikorn, who finished first in both races.

He had to rely on his final trump card - pole position, which gave him an additional, crucial point for the title win.

"Coming into the last race, I knew what position we needed and I didn't want to take any chances because it could be costly so I tried to stay out of trouble," said Tan.

It was nevertheless a season to remember for the driver who had taken the lead in the championship from the fifth race in Fuji, Japan.

At one point, it seemed as though he could win the title at the Marina Bay Circuit in September but an engine failure in Singapore put paid to those hopes.

Tan said: "In Singapore, I had an engine failure and it hindered us quite a lot.

"But I try to stay positive and just focus on the next race because if you think too much, you will only make things worse."

Despite the title-winning performance this season, his future with Team Jebsen remains unclear.

"I have no idea what is happening next year," said Tan who is nearing the end of his one-year contract.

"We will concentrate on celebrating tonight but I drive for a really good team and I do hope to stay with Team Jebsen."

Ultimately, it was satisfying for Tan that, even without winning a single race, he has managed to make Singapore racing history with his seven podium finishes.

"It would have been nice to win a race but that is not important," noted the champion.

"This was a long season with 14 races, and you win the championship by collecting points in all 14 races and not just one race.

"So that was our strategy and I'm glad it worked."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 01, 2015, with the headline 'Tan stays course to win by 1 point'. Print Edition | Subscribe