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GT World Challenge America

Lu Off to Impressive Start in Rookie PWC Campaign

Wei Lu has opened eyes in his first season of Pirelli World Challenge competition…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

Pirelli World Challenge debutante Wei Lu says the environment he has found at TR3 Racing has allowed him to exceed his own expectations so far in his rookie campaign.

Paired with his longtime driver coach Jeff Segal in a Ferrari 488 GT3 for the PWC SprintX rounds, the Canadian real estate developer-turned sports car driver impressed by scoring a class win in just his second start last month at Circuit of The Americas and sits second in Pro-Am class points standings.

Stepping into the big show from Ferrari Challenge, Lu said he has found the right recipe of team and co-driver to help him flourish in his transition to GT3 machinery.

“It’s like a family here [at TR3],” Lu told Sportscar365. “The atmosphere is really easy-going and full of nice people.

“Gregory Romanelli, the team owner, we were competitors in Ferrari Challenge. I’ve known him for a couple of years and I saw him doing Pirelli World Challenge in a 488 GT3, which was quite exciting.

“We’ve been talking about this and I wanted to do it with him. It was a really good choice and I’m glad I came here.”

Lu added that being able to share a car with his driver coach in the same sessions has helped to unlock his potential.

“I met Jeff three or four years ago and I’ve been learning from him for quite a bit,” he said. “Now to team up with him in the same car, learning through the data, it’s fantastic.

“Same car, same day, same time on the track, that’s everything I can ask for from a learning standpoint.

“I’m aiming to learn as much as I could. I think I did better than I thought [I would]! The team is fantastic. I feel comfortable and I feel happy working with them.”

Lu and Segal have impressed in practice this weekend at Virginia International Raceway, with Segal narrowly missing out on the fastest lap of Practice 2 on Friday, and the team coming off its first overall victory of the season earlier this month at Long Beach with Daniel Mancinelli.

Lu admitted that his strong debut with the Ferrari of Vancouver-backed effort has forced him to reconsider his goals for the rest of the season.

“I did not have too much expectations coming into PWC because I know it’s very competitive and there are a lot of good drivers here,” he said. “My goal was not to end up in last place, and so far so good!

“I started doing Ferrari Challenge in 2014. This is only my sixth season of racing ever. I’m really new to this.

“Because I started racing as a hobby, I’m going to be 32 by the end of the year, and I’ve only been racing for six years.

“People always say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so I said I just want to have fun. I wasn’t really expecting too much, but so far so good.”

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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