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GT World Challenge America

Van der Zande Joins Squadra Corse; 13 GT3 Entries for Vegas

Renger van der Zande to team with newly crowned GT-Am champion Fuentes…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Renger van der Zande will make his first Blancpain GT World Challenge America start in four years in this weekend’s season-ending round at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Dutchman has been confirmed in the No. 7 Squadra Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 alongside newly crowned GT3 Am champion Martin Fuentes for the pair of 90-minute races on Saturday.

Van der Zande takes the place of Mark Issa, who drove alongside Fuentes in the last two rounds at Watkins Glen International and Road America, following Caesar Bacarella’s early season stint.

It will mark van der Zande’s first series start since taking part in several races with EFFORT Racing in what was then Pirelli World Challenge in 2015.

The Ferrari will compete for overall honors as a result of the Gold-rated van der Zande, giving the Pro class field a boost to five entries.

Neither of the Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Rs, which withdrew from Road America, will be taking part in the season-ending round.

13 Entries for Grand Finale

A total of 13 cars are on the entry list, including a new Pro-Am class entry from Scuderia Corsa, which will see Alessandro Balzan make his racing return alongside Bret Curtis.

Balzan was sidelined for more than a year due to a medical procedure that required him to be on blood thinners, with Las Vegas understood to be his first race back in North America.

Curtis started the season out in RealTime Racing’s Acura NSX GT3 Evo prior to sustaining a back injury before ruling out a return to the car due to sizing issues.

The car is coming off an overall victory in Race 2 with Mike Hedlund and Dane Cameron, who is only four points behind Pro-Am championship leaders Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli.

Other changes to the entry list since Road America include the return of Miguel Molina to the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3, which provisionally clinched the Pro class championship with Vilander at Road America.

Marc Miller, meanwhile, is back in the No. 5 Graident Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo, while DXDT Racing will field only one Mercedes-AMG GT3 due to sailing commitments for David Askew that has left Ryan Dalziel on the sidelines for the weekend.

A promoter test day is scheduled for Thursday at the circuit, ahead of Practice 1 later that evening.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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