The DragonSpeed team, who participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time last year in LMP2, has recruited Renger van der Zande, recent pole sitter at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, for its debut in the LMP1 class with a Dallara BR1 powered by Gibson in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), if its application is approved.
Renger van der Zande has collaborated with DragonSpeed before, participating in several rounds of the 2013 American Le Mans Series season in a Formula Le Mans, prototype developed by ORECA to train young up-and-comers, fielded by the American outfit. The Dutch driver from single-seaters has found a home in the U.S. these past few years, first in the Prototype Challenge at the wheel of Starworks Motorsport's Formula Le Mans, then in Prototype last year along with Marc Goossens. Seventh by the end of the season, this year Renger van der Zande (the winner at Laguna Seca) joined former driver Wayne Taylor's defending champion team to support Jordan Taylor after his brother Ricky Taylor left to become a member of the Penske team.
Though last weekend, the Dutch driver clinched the pole at the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the #10 Cadillac DPi, the car eventually fell victim to several flat tires during the race, compelling Wayne Taylor to make the decision to pull the car and relegate it to 45th place. A seasoned Endurance driver, Renger van der Zande still only debuted at Le Mans this past June, the opposite of his two teammates Ben Hanley (a former competitor in the Renault F1 ladder series) and Henrik Hedman (12th in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours in 2017).
The two men competed in the entire 2017 European Le Mans Series season, representing DragonSpeed which was already tasked with running the G-Drive Racing team's car, crowning champion in LMP2. The American oufit founded by former driver Elton Julian will surely re-up in the European Le Mans Series all while participating in the 2018/2019 Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) which includes both the 2018 and 2019 editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
PHOTO: DragonSpeed finished 12th in the LMP2 class at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans with the #21 ORECA 07.