After making an impressive debut in the ALMS last year, Renger van der Zande has been signed by Starworks Motorsport for a full-season campaign in one of its Prototype Challenge entries.
The 27-year-old Dutchman will join car owner Mirco Schultis in the No. 7 Oreca FLM09, continuing a successful driver pairing that began under the DragonSpeed banner last year.
The duo claimed a season-best second place class finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, with Van der Zande also scoring the PC pole at Circuit of The Americas last September.
“It’s really great how it all developed,” van der Zande told Sportscar365. “Last year, Mirco asked me to come here to race. After he put his drive into Starworks, I was invited by Starworks and Mirco to come for the [Daytona] test [in November].
“I think that went really well and Peter [Baron] gave me the opportunity to come here for a full season and contract me as the pro for the season. I’m very, very happy.”
Van der Zande and Schultis will be joined by Eric Lux for the North American Endurance Cup races, with GP2 standout Sam Bird also likely to complete the lineup for the Rolex 24.
While having battled the likes of Colin Braun and Bruno Junqueira last year, van der Zande understands the level of competition the PC class presents and is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m very happy to do it with [Mirco] and I think he developed well over the last year,” he said. “I think we have a good chance to fight for victories.
“Last year for us was a little bit difficult. At the end, the car wasn’t what we expected… Now with Starworks, there’s a good, stable group of people who are putting effort into the car. That’s what you need to get the most out of it.”
The second Starworks PC entry is being driven at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 by Alex Popow, Isaac Tutumlu, Martin Fuentes and Rob Huff.