PETALING JAYA: After Hafizh Syahrin’s storming run in the Moto2 World Championship race in Austin, it was Weiron Tan’s turn to sizzle on American soil.
Weiron kept the Malaysian flag flying high with his first podium finish – a second placing – in the second round of the Pro Mazda Championship at the NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana.
Bad weather conditions forced the first race to be rescheduled and the second race called off.
However, the Andretti Autosport team driver was in great form, finishing at the top of the timesheets in both qualifying sessions.
A 16-car field took to the circuit for qualifying and the 20-year-old from Kuala Lumpur put in a fastest lap of 1:34.82 to clinch pole for the first race.
Weiron, however, was bogged down at the start line and dropped to second place. With track conditions getting worse, there was little chance to overtake on the road course and he crossed the line behind winner Santiago Urrutia of Uruguay.
Although the in-form Weiron did not get a chance to fight for victory with the second race cancelled, it is still a morale-boosting victory after a challenging outing in the season-opener at St Petersburg in Florida late last month. He failed to finish both races despite being third fastest in practice.
With his self-belief restored, Weiron is aiming to sustain his challenge in the championship.
“My goal is to win this year’s Pro Mazda Championship ... I have to be very consistent throughout the season and score as many points as possible,” said Weiron when contacted in Louisiana.
“Getting my first championship podium finish at NOLA makes me, and the team, more confident heading into the coming races.”
Weiron, disappointed at not converting the pole position into a win, will turn his focus to the next round at the Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama end of this month.
“The weather proved really difficult but to get second place is still good and we showed good pace all weekend,” he said.
On Sunday, Hafizh finished sixth in the Grand Prix of the American in Austin, Texas. He crossed the finish line in 41:59.733 after starting from 15th spot on the grid.