Unbeatable Tan Completes Croft Hat-Trick

by Simon Paice

Weiron Tan completed a stunning triple win in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship at Croft with victory in an eventful Round 11.

Fortec Motorsport held the top three places on the grid for the races, and while pole-sitter Hongwei Cao made a good start to lead into Clervaux, a slow start for fellow front-row starter Tan dropped him to third behind team-mate Wei Fung Thong.

The Hong Kong racer didn’t remain there for long though, with a brave move around the outside of Tower moving Tan back into second. Cao began to build a solid gap out front, however his two second lead was wiped out on lap four when the safety car came out after fourth and fifth placed Matt Rao and Sam MacLeod tangled at the complex, both cars retiring on the spot.

When the racing resumed on lap eight, the top three found themselves in a tight battle. Tan set about attacking Cao, but it was Thong who ended up making a move at Sunny In on lap nine, however it resulted in contact with Cao, putting Thong into retirement and forcing Cao into the pits with front-wing damage, a disaster for the Fortec team-mates.

Tan avoided getting caught up in the incident to inherit the lead heading into another safety car period, while benefitting from all the retirements so far to move up to second was Chris Middlehurst, the championship leader running in front of Joe Ghanem and Jorge Cevallos.

Tan controlled the restart on lap thirteen perfectly, forming a gap to the field behind that would never be closed, the 18 year old edging clear to take his third success of the weekend by 2.2 seconds, confirming his rise to second in the championship standings.

“I think the team deserved this, we worked really hard,” said Tan. “It should have been a Fortec one-two-three, but it’s all part of racing.”

Middlehurst’s tenth podium finish of the season means his lead over Tan sits at 98 points with five races remaining, while Ghanem held onto third for his first championship podium after a tough season so far.

Cevallos finished fourth ahead of Henrique Baptista, the Scorpio Motorsport racer taking his best finish of the weekend, while Jake Cook rounded out the top six on a subdued weekend for the Hillspeed driver.

Tom Oliphant took his best finish of the season so far in seventh ahead of Matias Galetto, while Ed Brand battled past Matteo Ferrer on the final lap to take ninth. Ferrer was followed across the line by Jesse Anttila, Piers Hickin, Shahan Sarkissian and Atte Lehtonen, while finishing up a lap down was Cao.

Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/barc/2013/132721bfr.pdf

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