Driver Spotlight: Johannes van Overbeek
Driver, Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi
How much more comfortable with the new Nissan Onroam DPi does the team feel after 24 hours of racing at Daytona?
“We’re comfortable with our team. We are comfortable with the support Nissan can and does provide. The questions revolve around what we don’t know yet, which is a lot. We’re learning and improving by the day.”
What challenges are there for you and the team to have the two longest races of the IMSA season back to back to open the season?
“Both Daytona and Sebring are physically and mentally exhausting for the entire team, especially with a new car. The race is just one small part of the complete puzzle.
“The upside of two long races at the beginning of the season is that we get lots of running to sort out the car and our procedures.”
What makes Sebring such a special event?
“To me, Sebring special for three reasons.
“1. The history. It’s the longest running endurance road race in North America.
“2. The weather. Typically, the weather is fantastic. The smell of orange blossoms in the air during the second week of March signifies a clear end of winter and the beginning of summer.
“3. The crowd. It’s big because it ties in with numbers one and two. Sebring is a sort of “burning man” of the racing World. Lots of crazy structures and behavior. I’ve been to no other race like it.”
Does a strong car at Daytona usually translate to a strong car at Sebring?
“It did last year when we were the first team to win both events overall in since 1998! Winning any big endurance race is proof that your entire program is strong and sorted; the team, car, pit stops, the drivers and your place within the current set of rules.”
What are your thoughts on being back in IMSA full time this year?
“It’s a coming home of sorts. I wouldn’t trade our experience in Europe for anything, but there’s no place like home. It’s familiar and exciting to be a part of a new generation of sport car racing on our home soil.”