2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMPC class champion Renger van der Zande has announced he will advance to the main Protoype class in signing with VISIT FLORIDA Racing for the 2017 championship. The Dutch driver will share the No. 90 VISIT FLORIDA Racing Gibson-powered Riley Technologies MK XXX with returning driver Marc Goossens.
After finishing second in the 2014 IMSA LMPC Championship, van der Zande enjoyed a highly successful 2016 season, advancing to win his first sports car racing championship. With co-driver Alex Popow, the Starworks Motorsport duo earned four wins and eight podium finishes, clinching the title at the final event of the year, Petit Le Mans.
Looking ahead to the approaching transition, the VISIT FLORIDA Protoype team will take delivery of the car in the coming weeks, where it will then immediately undergo preparations for off season testing before the season begins at the 24 Hours of Daytona, January 26-29.
“Over the years, VISIT FLORIDA Racing has had some the best drivers in the sport carry their banner,” said van der Zande. “It’s a great honor to race for them for overall victories and be right there for a new era with the DPi car in the Prototype class,” said van der Zande. “It’s going to be a fantastic year. I’m ready to grab the steering wheel and get started.”
“We’re all very excited about the 2017 season, and having Renger join our full-time driver line up,” said Team Owner Troy Flis. “We have been watching him through the years and think he’ll be a great co-driver for Marc (Goossens) and just a great addition to our VISIT FLORIDA Racing team.”
Founded in 1987, VISIT FLORIDA Racing has become a regular championship contender in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team started of the 2016 season with a third place finish at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and finished the year in fifth with an additional three top five finishes.
“I cannot wait to see our new car soon,” said van der Zande. “Marc is a great guy. We raced against each other when I made my first outings in GT racing. It’s an advantage to have a guy like Marc alongside me who has been with the VISIT FLORIDA team for a year and has tons of racing experience. The competition is very strong and I am ready to do battle with my VISIT FLORIDA Racing team.”