Appointment caps stellar rookie sportscar season for WHSG protégé
Highly-rated sportscar star Weiron Tan will make his LMP2 class bow with Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA Sport in the remaining two rounds of the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series as part of an all-Malaysian effort backed by Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
Having steered his burgeoning career from single-seaters to sportscars, Tan has spent 2017 competing in both the China GT Championship and Blancpain GT Series Asia, impressing observers with his scintillating raw pace – yielding no fewer than three pole positions – and accomplished racecraft in the hotly-disputed GT3 category.
Indeed, the Malaysian Chinese racer’s eye-catching performances during his maiden campaign in the discipline saw him selected as one of just seven finalists from more than 300 applicants for Porsche China’s recent shootout to determine its 2018 ‘Junior’ driver.
They have also now brought him to the attention of the renowned Jackie Chan DC Racing outfit – co-owned by legendary actor Jackie Chan – the team that currently leads the Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 standings after taking a clean sweep of victories from the opening two events of the season. It is the same squad that sent shockwaves through the sport in finishing a sensational second overall as it lifted the LMP2 laurels in the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours back in the summer.
Williams Harfield Sports Group protégé Tan is no stranger to the ACO-endorsed Asian Le Mans Series, having contested the 2016/17 campaign at LMP3 level. He is excited to be returning one step further up the ladder in LMP2, where he will join forces with McLaren GT Driver Academy ace and 2016 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup runner-up Jazeman Jaafar and multiple Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia champion Afiq Ikhwan Yazid.
The youngest of the talented trio having only just turned 23, Tan will make his debut for Jackie Chan DC Racing at Buriram’s Chang International Circuit in Thailand on 11-13 January, before returning to the track for the finale on home soil at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on 2-4 February.
"First of all, I would like to thank [Sepang International Circuit CEO] Dato' Razlan Razali and the entire SIC team for making this happen,” enthused the erstwhile Caterham F1 Academy member, who earlier this year was appointed as an official test and reserve driver for FIA World Endurance Championship contender CEFC Manor TRS Racing.
“It is a great honour to be a part of this programme. I’m well-acquainted with the championship and I've known Jazeman and Afiq for some time now, and we gel together very well – that's especially important in endurance racing. I'm sure the competition will be fierce which will make things interesting, but I'm confident we will combine to form a really strong package.
“I’m hugely looking forward to my LMP2 debut at Buriram! The car has a lot more speed and downforce compared to LMP3, and it's a bit better on the brakes and able to corner much faster too. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. Thank you to everyone who made it possible!”
Each class champion in the Asian Le Mans Series will receive an invitation to enter France’s iconic Le Mans 24 Hours, with SIC’s ultimate goal being to field an all-Malaysian assault on the race widely regarded as the toughest in the world to win.
“I see this as a stepping-stone in reaching our ambition of racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours,” added Dato' Razlan. “It is a dream for all drivers to qualify and participate in this race – and that dream is a realistic one.”