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Van der Zande Overcame Power Steering Issues for “Heroic” Win

Renger van der Zande on battling power steering woes in Sunday’s Chevrolet Grand Prix at CTMP…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Renger van der Zande overcame power steering issues in his Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R to claim a “heroic” win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The Dutchman made two late-race passes in Sunday’s Chevrolet Grand Prix to put the No. 01 car in victory lane for the third time this season in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, sharing top honors with co-driver Sebastien Bourdais.

It came on a day where multiple DPi cars suffered incidents, and while Bourdais and van der Zande stayed out of trouble, a race-long power-steering issue nearly put them out of contention.

“The key in IMSA is traffic, especially on these kind of tracks,” said van der Zande.

“If you’re aggressive and you have not much to lose and you’re fighting for the championship, this is what you have to do. You have to go for it.

“It was a really tough day. We had a power steering issue all the way along. I had to put all the muscles I had to keep it going around the corners.

“Especially in the high speed [corners], it was giving up every time. It felt like a bit heroic, I would say, to keep that [car] going around.

“The pressure from behind was sometimes really big. Every time when we had a stop or a restart, I had five, six laps where the power steering kind of worked.

“With 1 hour and 20 minutes to go, I was like, ‘How long do we have? I wasn’t sure I could do this.'”

Van der Zande said the issue “wasn’t ideal” at times, with the power steering functioning intermittently and sometimes catching him out.

“At one one point I found out when I was a bit in trouble that it was less… Because the front comes up, it’s lighter for the power steering,” he explained.

“I was braking earlier and going early on throttle just to make it happen.

“It wasn’t ideal. Sometimes it would just work and you would steer straight to the curb. I must have looked drunk from behind! That’s how it looked.

“But in the end, you deal with what you have. That’s what I had. I’ve been training quite hard for these kind of races — Watkins Glen and CTMP are big [commitment] tracks.

“I think these tracks are what you train for and if you have that on top, it’s not easy but we made it happen.”

Bourdais gave full credit to his co-driver for not only hanging on to the car but successfully navigating through traffic.

“With the massive power steering issues, I was barely hanging on and I have no idea how he put that thing up there to fight those guys,” the Frenchman said.

“He obviously reads traffic super-well, and when he gets all wound up with emotions, he uses that anger in a positive way. He really made it work today, and it was very impressive.”

The win for van der Zande and Bourdais has moved them closer in the DPi points race with only two rounds to go, with the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 suffering a miserable race after multiple incidents.

“I was super surprised,” said van der Zande. “I think the Acuras were way quicker than us. They still are and they kind of played with us.

“I got by him halfway through the straight and then he got by me at the end of the straight. I didn’t know how he did it.

“Those cars have something extra when they need it.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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