Dutch-based FIA World Endurance Championship team Racing Team Nederland has confirmed an entry in next month’s Rolex 24 At Daytona in the LMP2 class as a prelude to its full-season WEC effort.
Team founder Fritz van Eerd will drive team’s ORECA 07 at Daytona along with Giedo van der Garde, Job van Uitert and Charles Milesi. Van Eerd and van der Garde were part of the 2020 WEC effort that captured four podium finishes including a victory at Fuji.
“It is of course fantastic that we will race in Le Mans and Daytona next year,” van Eerd said. “I always love to race in the USA, and Daytona fits perfectly into our FIA WEC calendar. It will be more than just a race for us; it is also an important part of our preparations for the start of the FIA WEC season in March. Finally, to do the 24 Hours of Daytona is also a great way to take a first step towards IMSA.”
None of the Team Nederland drivers have competed before at the Rolex 24, although van Uitert did drive an LMP2 at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans in October, and shared the class victory with co-drivers John Farano and Mikkel Jensen for Tower Motorsport by Starworks.
“Daytona has been at the top of my wish list for a long time, so it’s great that I’m finally going there,” van Uitert said. “I think we have a strong team, both in terms of drivers and technical crew. However, we will all be rookies in Daytona, so we have to learn a lot in a short time and just work hard — then we will see what the possibilities are.”
Like most professional racers, van der Garde called the chance to compete in the Rolex 24 a “bucket list” item to check off.
“I love that we are going to Daytona,” he said. “That race has always been on my bucket list. It will be a big challenge for all of us because no one in the team has done Daytona before. This is a new adventure for everyone and that of course makes it extra special. I am really looking forward to it and am curious what we can achieve.”
The Roar Before the Rolex 24 test session from Jan. 22-24 at Daytona International Speedway precedes Rolex 24 At Daytona race-week action from Jan. 28-31.