Podium finish for Singaporean at the 24 Hours of Barcelona
Gerald Tan is the first Singaporean to finish on the podium in his debut race in a Porsche GT3 Cup S with top Italian Team GDL Racing
13th September 2013, Singapore – Gerald Tan, a Singapore touring car and endurance racing professional had finished on the podium in his debut race in a Porsche GT3 Cup S with top Italian Team GDL Racing. He is the first Singaporean to have accomplished this feat. This year, 58 race teams took to the starting grid of the 24 hours of Barcelona, consisting of star drivers like ex-F1 driver Brunno Senna, Aston Martin works driver Stefan Mucke and Porsche Supercup driver Norbert Siedler.
The race had all the elements of a great endurance race; unpredictable weather, packed grid of cars and close racing from start to finish. Qualifying on Friday was a mixture of dry and wet conditions making tire choice a headache for all the teams, this showed when the works Aston Martin made it on pole only during the closing moments when their gamble to make a last minute dash with full slicks paid off. Car #11 De Lorenzi 2 driven by Gerald Tan, from Singapore, Lim Keong Liam, from Malaysia, Dario Paletto and Roberto Fecchio both from Italy had some trouble during the qualifying session and only managed to secure a mid pack starting position.
On the starting grid, tough decisions had to be made again as the track was still wet from the morning showers, but with 58 cars circling the track, the track may dry quickly. The team had to take a gamble on whether to use wet or slick tires for the start of the race. Car #11 chose to start with slicks which proved to be the right call, moving up the places quickly to reach top 10 within the first hour.
The car experienced some spark plug issues during the second driver’s stint and lost 15 minutes in the pit. Gerald jumped in at 3pm and was in 27th place overall, he drove a flawless stint until rain started to fall after 75 minutes in the car, he pit in 17th position, handing over the car to his team mate who drove the next stint in the wet.
Gerald took his second stint in the car at 9.45pm, this time in 10th position overall and third in class. After a long two hour stint lapping consistent fast laps, he managed to bring car #11 to 1st in class and 4th overall. The team was ecstatic at this point as they were in position for an overall podium finish.
Unfortunately the next time Gerald took over, the car had suffered a broken damper and lost precious time in the pits, it was 4am when he drove his third stint. Historically, this is the most dangerous time to be driving as all the drivers will be experiencing fatigue. It was just before dawn and the temperature is at its lowest and everyone is tired. This proved to be true as there was a huge accident towards the end of his third stint and the team made a call to change drivers during the safety car period.
Eventually after day broke, the car suffered two other unexpected mechanical failures from the drive shafts which meant a top 10 overall placing was no longer possible. Gerald drove his fourth and final stint taking the car to the chequered flag, securing third in class, a dream result.
Gerald said: “It is an incredible feeling just to finish a 24 hour race. Being the final driver to take the car across the finish line in a podium position was simply amazing. It was my first time in a Porsche and to get up to speed quickly was very satisfying and confidence boosting. Getting to work with a great team like GDL Racing was a real honour as I had a great team of mechanics who worked tirelessly. I have so much to be thankful for, the sponsors who made it possible for me to drive in this race and of course God whom has blessed me immensely.
I am very proud to fly the Singapore flag on the podium as not many drivers from Singapore go to Europe to race and am happy to represent our small city state. For now, I am going to enjoy the success but I am already planning for 2014 and GDL Racing has already offered a few options for next year.”
For high-resolution pictures and interviews please contact Gerald at: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on the race and details on Gerald Tan: