Andrew Tang is a special young talent from Singapore. Never before has a young driver been hailed as the nation’s most promising hope to reach the pinnacle of motor racing. After some successful campaigns in international karting and single-seater championships, Andrew’s success streak was halted by having to serve National Service, which caused quite an uproar among motorsport circles. But nothing was going to phase Andrew, and after being more than a year out of a racing car he entered the Porsche Carrera Cup Junior Program where he beat 9 finalists and over 1,000 applicants, securing a full season in the prestigious racing series.
Pit Talk Asia talks to Andrew about National Service and moving from the single seat cockpit to the Porsche GT3 and his expectations for the year.
After winning TRS what happened?
Well, after winning the Toyota Racing Series (2014) I went back to Europe for the 1st round of the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS championship with PREMA Powerteam. I managed to go quite well there – coming out of the 1st round, running 4th in the championship. However, I was recalled to Singapore to enlist for National Service shortly after. Enlisting was a very difficult time for me, especially because it meant I had to take a break from racing and it wasn’t my choice. However, National Service did require me to have the same discipline and commitment that I had when I was racing.
How did you get the Porsche drive?
I received a call one day from the team manager I raced under when I was racing karts in Asia – Mr Roland Chong – and he mentioned to me that there was this scholarship that Porsche was willing to give to one driver from Southeast Asia. I was really grateful for his recommendation and so I sent in my resume and received the call to go to Shanghai for the assessment a few weeks after! The assessment was split over a couple of days – there were fitness assessments, media evaluations, personal interviews as well as a driving assessment that the final nine (that they narrowed down to from more than 1000 applicants) of us had to go through. It was both mentally and physically exhausting but I felt like I learnt a lot from the whole experience. I was definitely nervous due to the fact that I hadn’t driven a racing car for so long but it felt like home again very quickly. Being chosen for this scholarship really meant the world to me because it means that I have another chance to pursue my dreams of being on the path to racing and winning again on one of the biggest stages of motorsports – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
After single seaters, what is it like to drive the Porsche?
There are definitely differences between a Porsche and a single seater. For one, it also takes some time to get used to driving with a roof above my head! The way the car brakes is also a little different due to the weight difference – the Porsche is nearly twice the weight of the single seater so it takes a lot longer to slow down and the braking technique is also a bit different. However, contrary to what people might think, the Porsche actually handles very well. The reactions from it are quite similar to a single seater. Of course, it’s not exactly the same but the feeling is pretty similar.
How did the Sepang test go?
The test in Sepang went quite well, I think. There is definitely room to improve, especially after being out of the car for two years. There is a lot of rust to knock off but I think I managed to knock a fair bit off. Sorting out my braking technique was probably the most challenging aspect of the entire test but I managed to get it pretty close to where I would like it to be by the end of the test so I am feeling positive and I am definitely looking forward to the next time I get to drive the ca
What are your expectations for the year?
I believe my race craft at the beginning of the season will be lacking slightly due to the fact that I haven’t raced in 2 years. However, I believe that a return to form is on the cards and it’s only a matter of time. I hope that I can do well and secure prize money and sponsors to continue racing next year and continue my climb to the top. I am very thankful for my family and all the support and belief they’ve showered on me throughout my racing career and I hope to make them proud!
Andrew’s Racing Career:
- Toyota Racing Series Champion
- Toyota Racing Series: 15th
- Formula Renault ALPS Championships: 20th/42
- CIK FIA APAC KF2 Championships, Japan: 3rd
- WSKEuro Series Rd3, Italy: 8th out of 80 drivers.
- CIK FIA KF2 World Championship: 20th out of 103 drivers.
- Asia Open Karting Championship: Champion.
- All Japan Championship Rd5, Suzuka: 2nd.
- CIK FIA KF2 World Championship: 21st out of 103 drivers.
- WSK Master Series Round 5, Italy: 3rd.
- Bridgestone Cup, Italy: 7th out of 60 drivers.
- North European KF2 Quali: 19th out of 58 drivers.
- Participated in 7 rotax max SENIOR series races in Suzuka, Japan. Finished 8th in his 2nd race out of 70 drivers.
- Rotax Max Series Champion in Singapore and won himself a seat at the Rotax Max World Grand Finals 2010 representing Singapore at La Conca Italy.
- Rotax Max World Finals: Only Asian and first Singaporean to qualify for the finals. (First time on a European track)
- Asia Karting Open Championship: 2nd out of 1 round.
2005-2009: Pursuing his studies.
- KBS-KKW Kart Prix Champion.
- KKS Malaysian Open Karting Championship Round 2 Champion.
- KKS Malaysian Open Karting Championship Round 3 Champion.
- AKOC Macau International Kart Grand Prix Comer 85CC Champion.
- Rotax Langkawi Motor Sport Club Round 2 Champion.
- AKOC Round 2 Macau Comer 85CC Runner up.
- AKOC Comer 85CC series 2nd Runner Up.