Renger van der Zande has been chosen to replace Team Penske-bound Ricky Taylor to partner Jordan Taylor in the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. team, run by Wayne Taylor Racing, for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
The Dutchman switches over from VisitFlorida Racing, with van der Zande feeling it is a career highlight to be chosen to join the championship winning team of 2017, with the Taylor brothers taking five wins on their way to the title with their father’s team.
“Needless to say, I’m very happy to join the Konica Minolta Cadillac team – it’s a mega opportunity,” said van der Zande. “I have to say, for me, being with VisitFlorida Racing was a good step up from LMPC, and now joining a Prototype championship-winning team is very special.
“The atmosphere on the team is great. We are preparing to go full speed ahead for 2018 season, focusing on getting the drivers and the mechanics and everybody else working as a team. It feels like I’m jumping into a warm bath.
“In the last four years, my career went up from a guy trying to make a name in the sport to someone asked to race in the cars of championship-calibre teams. I feel very privileged to be in that position.”
Van der Zande says joining the team in place of Ricky Taylor will mean extra pressure on his shoulders, but he feels he has what it takes to succeed in the team, and believes he will fit in there in 2018.
“Now, being contacted by Wayne and getting asked to drive for this championship-winning team, that’s the crown for driving all sorts of cars all over the world for so many years,” said Van der Zande.
“Yes, there will be pressure on the track, and even more by replacing a family member. But pressure is always there – it doesn’t matter. I’m the type of driver who’s willing to take the risks. Of course, you have to be smart and do it in a clever way, but I’m racing the way I’m racing and I think it’ll fit very nicely.”