Racing Team Nederland has announced its plans for the 2021 season including a continuation in the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 ranks and a debut IMSA appearance in next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The Dutch team has also added another two years to its partnership with TDS Racing, which has run the No. 29 Oreca 07 Gibson since the start of the 2019-20 WEC campaign.
Job van Uitert will replace Nyck de Vries in the full-season driving crew, teaming up with Giedo van der Garde and team owner Frits van Eerd, who both remain on board.
The WEC trio will be joined at Daytona by 19-year-old Frenchman Charles Milesi who contested this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans with Graff.
“The results that we have achieved with TDS speak for themselves,” said van Eerd.
“We opted for another two years, because you must always look ahead. We have great ambitions with Racing Team Nederland, and Giedo and Job, as well as TDS now all know that we can work together in the coming years to achieve those ambitions.
“That provides stability and confidence. In 2021, we will be racing in the WEC again, but it is no secret that in the future we would also like to race in IMSA. [It] is also one of the reasons why we will be participating in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January.”
Van Eerd’s status as a Bronze-rated driver means Racing Team Nederland will compete for honors in the WEC’s new LMP2 Pro-Am classification within the ‘overall’ category.
The Pro-Am award has been introduced as an incentive for Bronze-rated competitors to invest in the class since LMP2 lineups can also run with a single Silver driver as the nominated amateur.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which includes Daytona on Jan. 30-31, requires each LMP2 entry to have a Bronze.
“It is of course fantastic that we will race in Le Mans and Daytona next year,” said van Eerd, who became the first Bronze to win a WEC LMP2 race at Fuji last year.
“I always love to race in the U.S, and Daytona fits perfectly into our WEC calendar.
“It will be more than just a race for us; it is also an important part of our preparations for the start of the WEC season in March.
“Finally, to do the 24 Hours of Daytona is also a great way to take a first step towards IMSA.”
Van Eerd explained that de Vries’ move into a role with Toyota Gazoo Racing contributed to the team’s decision to recruit van Uitert into the lineup for 2021.
Van Uitert, who is set for his first full term in the WEC, joined Racing Team Nederland for the Silverstone and Spa rounds last season when other drivers were unavailable.
The 22-year-old contested the European Le Mans Series this year with United Autosports, finishing second in the championship with Alex Brundle and Will Owen.
“Job did fantastically and was on the podium with us both times,” said van Eerd. “Also, he was the fastest LMP2 driver at Le Mans. Now he has been given a permanent place in our team.
“We have greatly enjoyed Nyck’s performance over the past three years, and we are proud of what he has achieved in that period, both with Racing Team Nederland and in Formula 2 and Formula E.
“Nyck is now also a test and reserve driver for Toyota, which, like us, competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship. That means he could be promoted to Toyota’s race team basically at any time, and I certainly hope that he will get that chance.
“We have therefore chosen to promote Job as a permanent driver, especially with an eye on our long-term ambitions.
“As supporter of young talent, JUMBO has been a sponsor of Job for a long time already, so it’s fantastic that he will be part of Racing Team Nederland for the coming years.”