Van der Zande Wins at Sonoma as Substitute for Dalziel

EFFORT Racing and Porshce stay at the top of the Pirelli World Challenge Manufacturers’ Championship following a win at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday.

The winning driver was Renger van der Zande, who filled in for Ryan Dalziel who was in Germany fulfilling WEC duties. The Dutchman never strayed outside the top two throughout any sessions all weekend.

Following a battle with Kevin Estre, he came second in race one, losing his lead midway through the 50 minute race. The following day, a lightning start propelled him into the lead, a position he would never give up, despite pressure from Estre.

“This is a nice one,” explained van der Zande. “It’s a sequence: Free practice one, I was first, then second in qualifying 1, then second in the first race and won the second race. I’m very happy. It’s so nice the team got me back in the car after Detroit. It’s so nice to give them back a win and a second place finish.

“It’s good for the team championship and the manufacturer’s championship. I’m very happy to help out. Overnight we made some really good changes, and it worked out really well so I could manage the tires properly and keep it out front. I hope Ryan Dalziel has a good one at Laguna.”

Michael Lewis, meanwhile, had qualified 3rd for the first race, but lost positions and fell down to 10th. His bad luck continued in race two, retiring due to damage sustained at the start.

“We had a really good qualifying for Race 1,” he said. “I placed P3 just three-tenths off of my teammate who was P1. Into Race 1 I had a little mistake on my part battling for the top three positions, and ended up falling back. That was on me.

“For Race 2, we were getting better in the standing start scenario by adding some rolling starts. Up into the first two turns today there was a big crash and it was just a deal where I couldn’t find a hole. I had contact, which ended our race. It was unfortunate our race was cut short, because overall we had good speed this weekend.”

Ryan Dalziel will return to the #31 Porsche for the final round of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in two weeks’ time.