Samantha Tan Racing adds Nick Wittmer to the team and picks up new BMWs for 2017 PWC Touring Car class.
Ontario-born Samantha Tan of Samantha Tan Racing, which was started just this year, moves up from Touring Car A class to Touring Car for the 2017 season of the Pirelli World Championship (PWC). Joining the team for the new season is Quebecois racer Nick Wittmer.
Both Tan and Wittmer will be taking on the 2017 season in new BMW M235i Racing Cup cars. The team will be under the guidance of team manager and industry veteran, Ben Distaulo.
“My role as team manager for Samantha Tan Racing next year in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Class will consist in providing a winning atmosphere for both Samantha Tan and Nick Wittmer," said Distaulo in a statement. "I am confident that my 24 years of working in motorsports and my ability to bring the right people together to win championships, will provide the perfect combination of ingredients to showcase the abilities of the BMW M235i Racing against other manufacturers. I look forward to the upcoming 2017 season with ST Racing."
Nineteen-year-old Tan is currently attending college in California, and has been kicking down doors and taking names since she arrived on the professional circuit in 2014 driving in National Auto Sport Association races. Soon after she was also driving in the Canadian Touring Car Championship (CTCC) side-by-side. The 2014 season saw her being awarded the rookie of the year award in CTCC.
Tan’s first season in PWC was 2016, and it saw her finish in fifth place overall in the TCA class. “I am very excited to start the 2017 racing season with a new team and race car. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by people who are very experienced in the racing world, and I know I will grow tremendously as a racer throughout this season with their help,” says Tan.
She added, “I have always been a big fan of BMW and it will be an honour to drive the M235i Racing car. I am also very pleased about returning to a rear-wheel drive platform and focus more on race craft. Since I am stepping up to the TC class, I feel that the competition will be harsher, but it is nothing that I can’t handle. Knowing that I have the experience, an amazing team, and a great race car this season, I am confident that I will have podium finishes.”
Tan’s new teammate, Nick Wittmer, has been racing since 2002 and competed in a variety of series both in Canada and the United States. “I am feeling fantastic and happy to be joining ST Racing. I worked with Samantha all season long this year but in a much different capacity since we were racing in two separate classes. [The 2017 season] will be new for us, as we will be racing as teammates in TC with the BMW M235i Racing Cup car. The BMW is a remarkable and proven racecar and, with some testing, I’m confident I will be up to speed very quickly. My goal is to have Samantha improve with every session and contend for a podium finish on a regular basis.”
The 2017 season for PWC Touring Car races will kick off in April at the Virginia International Raceway. The series will see a Canadian stop at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario in May.
Photos: Lucas Scarfone. BMW M235i Racing Cup car renderings by George Bucur