'Husband & Wife' team in Bangsaen 'Endurance'

'Husband & Wife' team in Bangsaen 'Endurance'

24.06.2017: The Bangsaen Grand Prix’s ‘Endurance’ race has attracted a lot of international names over recent years, many high profile drivers

The Bangsaen Grand Prix’s ‘Endurance’ race has attracted a lot of international names over recent years, many high profile drivers slipping into the seats of the small sedans and hatchback’s that busily contest the 6-hour race which traditionally takes place on Friday.
 


The delayed 10th Anniversary Bangsaen Grand Prix back in February saw the most recent running of the ‘Endurance’ race (which will in fact change format for next week’s 11th edition to a new 200 km length).
 


One driver on the entry list with vast experience to call on was Singapore’s Yuey Tan. His career has closely revolved around the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) and in fact he first joined the series in 2008 so that means this year is his tenth season in the ‘one make’ championship.



He can count the Class B title in 2015 as well as plenty of podiums to his lengthy resume while he also has a class victory in the Sepang 12 Hours to his name. With PCCA joining us this coming week in Bangsaen for the first time, that track time back in February was invaluable to get him up to speed on the tight and technical street circuit.
 


Joining him in the cockpit of an all-white Toyota Vios for the 6-hour race was Claire Louise Jedrek, which meant it was a ‘husband and wife’ team. Claire, also from Singapore, is a racer too and has been building her reputation on the circuits of Asia over the last few years, she’s also closely involved in the motorsport world.
 


The ‘Bangsaen Endurance’ race is a real punisher as it sees more than sixty cars duelling it out on the narrow and tricky 3.7 km street circuit and for the rookie it’s a real test of stamina. For Yuey and Claire it was to be no different an experience;



 they were quick off the mark and looked pacey but were soon in the wars and eventually their battered Vios, sporting the customary spider’s web of tank tape that sprouts all over so many cars as this event progresses, was retired when it could finally go no further. But a valuable experience and their first ‘Bangsaen’ down.
 


After the event they reflected on the race and how their entry had come about. “Initially we got to know the Thais in Carrera Cup, they have a couple of teams where I drive as well and we all became good buddies,” explained Yuey. “Last year we came down to Bangsaen to view it as guests and we thought ‘wow we want to try this’ and this year TSS were really helpful in getting some cars together for us that put us in the competition.”
 


Yuey admits he thoroughly enjoyed the experience “We had a great run, had a lot of fun, the circuit is really well put together and safety is really good and it really shows with the success of this year’s Grand Prix that they have the quality to do this over and over again,” he said.
 


The race saw Yuey and Claire running very competitively so they had a lot of positives to draw upon. “During the race it was pretty competitive, we qualified just above the midfield I think and we raced really hard,” he said. “At one point our car was fourth in category and we were hoping for a podium. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get our car to the end, but we were running very well so we were really happy with the way things were going.”
 


For Claire it was a totally new experience as she hadn’t raced on a temporary track before and that meant she had to work herself up to speed and get comfortable with the barriers being in such close proximity.



“It’s my first time doing a street circuit, so I was quite excited to pair up with him and have the opportunity to be on a street circuit,” she said. “It’s a lot different to racing in Sepang were there are a lot more open spaces, I think it’s definitely something we want to come back annually for.”
 


She reported that her stints went pretty smoothly. “Initially as we went out after the red flag, after it rained, there was one moment where I think I had a bit of a touch on Turn 2 where I out braked myself a little bit, we touched a little bit going up the hill,” Claire recalled.” But otherwise the race was pretty smooth, there were quite a few red flags.”
 


She admitted that their limited pre-race testing time meant she had a tough learning experience. “I think the schedule for 45 minutes each was not too bad,” she said. “We didn’t have any windows in the car so we didn’t really suffer in the heat.



I really think though that in practice having only 10 laps to learn the circuit it’s like playing chicken, trying to memorise going down Turn 13 to 15 and the flow of the car, having your foot down, knowing mentally that you can go flat out in certain places and to be able to do that I have good mentors and also the drivers in front of me so I was able to replicate what they did and pick up fast.”
 


So will they return to race here? “Absolutely, I think the addiction has already started,” says Claire. Yuey adds: “Were back here for Porsche Carrera Cup Asia so I think it’s a really exciting time for all of us.




Carrera Cup has never seen a place like Bangsaen to go motor racing with all its festivities and also for Bangsaen to have Carrera Cup down here, there’s a different way of doing things, trying to keep the car more precise, make the drivers more competitive, it’s just going to grow the sport and Thailand is going to be a major place on the motorsport map for sure very soon, this place is crazy, there are an awful lot of cars here.”

 
 
 
 Edd Ellison, photo TSS
 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/husband-wife-team-bangsaen-endurance---165511.html

24.06.2017 / MaP

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