Driver Spotlight: Renger van der Zande
Driver: No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09
What are your thoughts on the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season so far?
“The TUDOR Championship itself is a high level championship. There are high level teams with many great drivers and I am personally enjoying the racing itself a lot. Normal endurance races can end up very static and the last two seasons I am racing in TUSC I have never seen a boring race. With the different cars on track and having restarts many times in one race gives a lot of opportunities for the win and that makes it exciting for the fan but also for me being in the car.
“The 2015 season has not started very well for me. Daytona was over after 12 hours and my teammate got crashed out in Sebring very early in the race. We repaired the car but were many laps down.”
Are you looking forward to returning to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, site of your first U.S. race and win?
Yes! Laguna Seca is a special one for me. My first time racing in the U.S. was there in 2013, we won last year in 2014 and the whole atmosphere and track layout makes it special. Maybe some tracks come more natural than others, well this one is fitting me well.”
How do you think this year’s race will be different with all four classes together?
“During the 2013 ALMS race, we were with more or less the same amount of cars on track. I think that will be just fine. There will be more to watch out for, more traffic to manage and I assume more safety car periods. I did enjoy last year as I could win the race “overall” with my PC class car, as it was just PC and GTD having its own race. But actually the format with all cars on track again is more of what we are used to.”
If you were IMSA President for the day, what would you change?
“Not a lot to be honest. I would push for getting more car manufacturers involved from all over the world, but without losing the smaller teams that are key to this championship. So I’d be happy that I just have to be the President for only 1 day! [smiles]. Good luck to Mr. Atherton.”
How has preparations for the Nurburgring 24 been going for you?
“This year I am racing for Rowe Racing and I am part of a strong line up of drivers. Maro Engel, Jan Seyffarth and Thomas Jäger know their way around “The Ring” very well. The preparations have been very good apart from the test races we did, with two DNFs early in the 4 hour races. The testing we have done has been very promising. We also had the speed during the VLN testing and qualifying with a pole position in the first one. In Holland we say a bad repetition means a good final, so lets peak at the right moment on Sunday afternoon in May!”
What are some of your hobbies?
“My company Gullwing Racing Insurance is what I love to do. It’s great to work on a business in the same world I am naturally in. And next to that I try to be on my race bike as much as time lets me. There are some European mountains on my bucket list for summer 2015 like the Mont Ventoux, Alpe D’huez and some in the Dolemite mountains in Italy!”