Connect with us

IWSC

Van der Zande Joins Wayne Taylor Racing

Renger van der Zande will make the move to Wayne Taylor Racing next year, replacing Ricky Taylor in its full-season lineup…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Renger van der Zande will make the move to Wayne Taylor Racing next year, replacing Ricky Taylor in its full-season lineup in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the team announced on Friday.

The 31-year-old Dutchman will team with Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R, in pursuit of the team’s Prototype title defense.

According to team owner Wayne Taylor, van der Zande was “at the top” of its list of replacements for Ricky Taylor, who will join Team Penske’s Acura DPi effort for next year.

“After doing our due diligence to make sure he was free and clear of any other obligations, and based on that, we decided to move forward to further the negotiations,” Wayne Taylor said.

“We are absolutely thrilled that it worked out that he can join us.

“Because Ricky and Jordan were fighting for the championship until the last race, we couldn’t really announce anything about Ricky until the season was over, which had us a little concerned that it would be difficult to find a good driver.

“Based on everything we’ve seen, Renger is going to fit in well here.

“Speed-wise, he’s going to be good. I think he will be good on equipment. He has a great personality and fits in with the team and our sponsors really, really well.”

Van der Zande, the 2016 Prototype Challenge champion, had a single-year stint with Visit Florida Racing, where he delivered the first LMP2 victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last month following an epic late-race pass in the Corkscrew.

“I have to say, for me, being with Visit Florida Racing was a good step up from LMPC, and now joining a Prototype championship-winning team is very special,” he said. “The atmosphere on the team is great.

“We are preparing to go full speed ahead for 2018 season, focusing on getting the drivers and the mechanics and everybody else working as a team. It feels like I’m jumping into a warm bath.

“In the last four years, my career went up from a guy trying to make a name in the sport to someone asked to race in the cars of championship-caliber teams. I feel very privileged to be in that position.

“Now, being contacted by Wayne and getting asked to drive for this championship-winning team, that’s the crown for driving all sorts of cars all over the world for so many years.”

Jordan Taylor added: “When Renger came to Prototype this year, I knew he was going to be competitive. What we saw of him and that amazing pass for the win at Laguna, we knew he’s a driver who can get the job done.

“And when Ricky announced he was leaving, Renger was one of the first guys we wanted to talk to and, thankfully, he was available.”

Hunter-Reay Likely for TPNAEC Campaign

Ryan Hunter-Reay, meanwhile is believed to be the likely candidate to join van der Zande and Jordan Taylor for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races. 

The IndyCar ace, who finished second with the team in the 2013 Rolex 24, rejoined WTR for last month’s Motul Petit Le Mans and has a strong history with the Indianapolis-based organization.

It’s understood that Jeff Gordon, who teamed with the Taylor brothers and Max Angelelli for victory at Daytona in January, is unlikely to defend his crown next year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Change it up

    October 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

    on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most likely, that Dale Earnhardt Jr fills in for a team? Go

    • Jose

      October 27, 2017 at 8:39 am

      2 or 3 I think the fire at Sonoma scared him away from sportscar

    • Mike D

      October 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      1 or 2. I think Jr going to take time off to be a dad for a while (his wife is expecting, due April-ish IIRC).

      • Max

        October 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        Congrats to him. I’m so out of NASCAR these days I had no idea he was married haha.

        You’re probably right. If he’s doing anything racing wise it’s probably going to be low key, a little “slow”, and unlikely to aggravate his past brain injuries.

        It wouldn’t surprise me, unfortunately – given all his past head injuries, if he’s one big hit away from having to just call it quits immediately.

  2. juneracer

    October 27, 2017 at 10:25 am

    and he’s not fast in a sports car environment. but that sometimes doesn’t drive the choice…

  3. Non Confident Race Fan

    October 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I don’t know about this move…

  4. KW

    October 27, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Hey guys, this article is about Renger van der Zande, not about Dale Earnhart jr.!
    So as nobody else does here, I congratulate Renger for making this great deal which he really deserves; and best luck for the 2018 championship, which will be a lot harder to win for WTR, after the arrival of Joest and Penske.

  5. Travis McBee

    October 27, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Stupid question, but does this make Renger a factory GM driver now?

    • Stefan

      October 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      That’s not a stupid question. 😉
      A Dutch site wrote he has a contract with GM.

    • kv

      October 27, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      THE FLYING DUTCHMAN is an ace,and the only question is why he wasn’t discovered sooner !

  6. Cosmo DeLuca

    October 27, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Is that a photo of you approaching Renger for a story? I’m sure you see that often

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in IWSC