Two Women Led A Race At The Same Time For The First Time In World Challenge History

Eventual GTSA-X winner No. 36.
Photo: Kurt Bradley

An interesting landmark was passed during the Pirelli World Challenge GTS SprintX round this afternoon at Circuit of the Americas: two women led their respective classes on track at the same time. One of those women, Aurora Straus, went on to win the GTSA-X class in the No. 36 BMW M4 GT4.


On lap 13 of the 21-lap one-hour race, both the No. 36 and No. 38 BMW M4 GT4s run by ST Racing came into the pits for driver changes. This race is the second tier of PWC’s Sprint-X format, where teams swap drivers mid-way. Samantha Tan took over the No. 38 from Nick Wittmer in the all-pro GTS-X class, and Aurora Straus took over the No. 36 from Al Carter in the pro-am GTSA-X class.

Both were released under a lap of green flag action before a full-course yellow came out to bunch up the pack, but the duo of Tan and Straus led their respective classes for a full four laps before before coming back into the pits. Per series officials, they’ve had no shortage of laps led by women, however, this is the first time ladies have led both of the two classes on track at the same time.

Tan’s car, the No. 38
Photo: Kurt Bradley

We’ve featured Straus on here before and have been impressed with her drive to prove everyone wrong behind the wheel of a car so much that it’s not difficult to think she’d be part of some historic first somewhere. Like Straus, Samantha Tan is young and insanely talented. Both already accomplished way more than I ever did when I was roughly college-age.


These two are going places, for sure. Today Straus went right to the top of the podium at the end of the race, claiming a win for the No. 36 crew. Tan didn’t drop too far behind in the GTS-X class, either, grabbing a third-place podium result. Congratulations, ladies!

[H/T JCCharles!]

Correction [8:20 p.m.]: We originally said Tan was a teenager based on the info on her Twitter profile, but that conflicts with the age listed her profile on World Challenge’s website. This has been tweaked above.

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Stef Schrader

Contributor, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.