As Renger van der Zande approaches his final race for Wayne Taylor Racing, the Dutchman has two important races to try and win. Holding a close second in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class with co-driver Ryan Briscoe, the 34-year-old is on a mission to close this three-year tenure with WTR by hoisting a championship trophy overhead at the conclusion of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The other race, which got a late start, is to find a new home somewhere in the prototype or GT paddock. Having won IMSA’s LMPC championship, and scored a pair of victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and at Petit Le Mans for WTR in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R, van der Zande wants to chase more wins and continue a career in America that began in 2013.
“The options for me are wide open, and one of the things that I’ve done for a long time is make sure I’ve always been racing in GTs and prototypes,” he told RACER. “Usually, it’s been racing prototypes here, and GTs in Europe and Asia; and I think that combination has been important for times like this where I can go to any IMSA class and be immediately comfortable in any car.
“For next year, DPi, LMP2 and GTD are ones that I would like to do in IMSA and bring my experience to the teams. I love IMSA. I love the paddock. It’s been my racing home for many years, and I hope people know I’m available and ready to talk.”
As changes and downsizing take place in DPi, van der Zande says he would welcome a return to his Pro-Am roots.
“I think maybe some (IMSA) teams haven’t seen it so much, but the last couple of years, I have driven most of the GT3 – the Lamborghini Huracan and Mercedes at the Nürburgring. I finished second together with Felix Rosenqvist and Tristan Vautier at the Spa 24 Hours in a Mercedes,” he added. “Then, obviously, the last couple of years in Macau, and the IGCT with the world championship in the Acura NSX GT3. There’re many programs I’ve been involved with, and most of the time, it’s Pro-Am.
“When I was doing LMPC, also, the most important thing is to make sure that the other drivers, the amateur drivers, (are) up to speed and know that their car is ready. If they gain good amounts of lap time, I may be compromised on the setup and lose a tenth or two; but overall, we will win quite a bit and that’s the key for program.”