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Weiron Tan scored a dominant victory as he competed for the first time on US soil in the Pro Mazda Cooper Tires Winterfest. The result, combined with two second place finishes in the three-race round sees the Malaysian get off to an impressive start as he gets Road to Indy career with Andretti Autosport underway. 
Weiron2Ahead of the start of the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship, Weiron is competing in the two-round, six-race Pro Mazda Cooper Tires Winterfest championship. Winterfest is a key learning opportunity for Weiron to compete with his Andretti Autosport team on the Road to Indy programme, as the Pro Mazda championships form a major step on the ladder to the Verizon Indycar Series. The first three races took place at NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale, Louisiana, on the 2.75mile, 16-turn road course.
Speaking of his participation in the series, Weiron was happy about this new experience, “It’s been a fantastic first time racing in ProMazda and I’ve had so much fun! The team did a great job and to come away with a win and two second places is a really good start for us. The pace has been there throughout and the first race was good – we learned a lot. To get the win in race two was a brilliant moment. We had a really good car and the Andretti boys did a really good job so I have to thank them for that. I wasn’t happy with the third race. Jack [Aitken] exceeded the track limits to pass on the first lap but wasn’t told to give the place back. He continued to exceed track limits for most of the race but nothing was done about it. I have nothing against Jack but I would like to see fair competition in the future as I race within the rules. I’m mostly happy with the results this weekend though. It’s a good start and now we just need to score more points than anyone else!”
 
Weiron was fast right out of the box, finishing quickest in the first practice session out of the 15-strong grid. He was a full six tenths faster than closest driver Jack Aitken. Weiron topped qualifying for the majority of the session but unfortunately, on the last lap, he suffered a broken rotor, which allowed Aitken to pass him on the timesheets, forcing Weiron to settle for second place on the grid for the first race. 
 
In the first race of the competition, and Weiron’s first in US racing, Weiron pushed Aitken hard throughout the 19 laps. Although Jack took a lights-to-flag victory, Weiron crossed the finish line a mere 0.338 seconds behind his rival. 
 
Starting from second in race two Weiron moved into the lead but was then held under a full course yellow after an incident involving three other competitors saw the flags come out. Green flag racing resumed on lap five, and twos lap later had built a comfortable 2.1s lead and was lapping at least half a second a lap faster than the rest of the field. His dominance could not be challenged, and Weiron took the chequered flag a massive 6.9 seconds ahead of second-placed Nicolas Latifi. 
 
In race three, Weiron started from pole. At turn 1 he was passed by Aitken, but kept up the pressure throughout the opening laps as the two racing closely while building a gap to the rest of the field. The duo outpaced everyone on track consistently, with their comparative laptime on one lap down to 0.001s. Weiron pushed right until the end, narrowing the gap on the final lap to less than a second, but in the end settled for second, and a third trip to the rostrum in as many races. 
Ben Potter

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