Renger van der Zande is a racing driver from Netherlands whose biggest success so far is winning the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
He was born on 16th of February, 1986 in Dodewaard, a town in the country’s largest province of Gelderland. As a son of the Dutch rallycross champion. Renger was involved in the world of motorsports since he was a boy. He raced karting at national and international level with a considerable success before making the switch to single-seaters in 2004 when he finished 7th in the Formula Renault 2.0 Netherlands.
Winning the first title in the Formula Renault Series
In 2005, van der Zande won his first title. He became the national Formula Renault 2.0 Series champion. Driving for Van Amersfoort Racing, Renger won 4 out of 12 races and had other five podiums.
Van der Zande at the beginning of his career with Frits van Amersfoort
The same year he successfully competed in the German Formula Renault 2.0 Series. Van der Zande scored four wins before taking the 5th position in the final classification. He also appeared in two races of Formula Renault Nordic Series and scored a podium finish in both.
Formula 3 career
Van der Zande moved to Germany in 2006 and entered Formula 3 championship with Seyffarth Motorsport. He had a good season and finished 4th overall despite not winning any race but he had eight podiums and one pole position. He also appeared as a guest driver for the Team Netherlands in A1 Grand Prix in three races.
In 2007, Renger signed with Prema Powerteam to compete in the Formula 3 Euro Series. His rookie season was relatively good. He won the race at Catalunya Circuit and finished 3rd at Mugello Circuit before taking the 11th place overall.
Renger van der Zande, Prema Powerteam, Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix
He stayed with the team for another year and made a big step forward. Renger scored two wins, at Hockenheim and Zandvoort, and had other three podiums before finishing 4th in the Drivers’ championship, behind Nico Hulkenberg, Edoardo Mortara, and Jules Bianchi. At the end of the season, van der Zande was 5th in the Macau Grand Prix.
Title contender in the British F3 championship
After failing to secure a drive in GP2 Series, Dutch pilot moved to the UK. He signed with Hitech Racing and was among the frontrunners even after missing four races. Renger scored three wins and a total of nine podiums before finishing 3rd in the standings, behind Daniel Ricciardo and Walter Grubmuller.
Renger van der Zande, Hitech Racing, British Formula 3
In 2009, Van der Zande also raced part-time in Formula 3 Euro Series with Motopark Academy and won 1 out of 8 races. In his second appearing in the Macau GP, Renger finished 7th driving for Raikkonen Robertson Racing. He also drove as a guest in one round of Porsche Supercup and finished 9th at Silverstone.
The season of 2010 was Renger’s last in the open-wheelers. Driving for Mucke Motorsport in the GP3 Series, van der Zande was able to score just six points, after finishing 3rd at Hockenheim, and was 21st in the championship which was quite disappointing. The consolation was the 5th place in Macau Grand Prix when he was driving for Motopark Academy.
Switch to sportscar racing
After being unable to fulfill his ambitions in formula racing, Renger switched to sports cars racing in 2011. He debuted in the popular DTM championship, driving a Mercedes prepared by Persson Motorsport. He finished 3rd in the exhibition event at Olympic Stadium in Munich, but in the championship the results were poor. Van der Zande finished the season without points and left the series.
Renger van der Zande, DTM Mercedes
Next year, Renger was without a full-time drive. He appeared in two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 class with Lotus and in first two races Porsche Supercup with Konrad Motorsport.
Departure to the US
Van der Zande began a new chapter in his career in 2013 when he went to the United States. He debuted in the Prototype Challenge class of the American Le Mans Series, driving for the Dragon Speed team. He adapted well and did a great job. The highlight of the season was the 2nd place in the race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
In 2013, Renger moved to the US
He also competed in selected events of the International GT Open with Seyffarth Motorsport driving the Mercedes SLS AMG, earning two race triumphs, one pole, and three podiums. Finally, that year Renger became the BRL-V6 series champion, driving for Teunissen Racing and scoring six wins and four pole positions.
Renger van der Zande is among the best racing drivers in the IMSA Sports Cars Championship
When ALMS merged with RSCS in 2014, van der Zande stayed in the series as a driver of renowned Starworks Motorsport. Driving alongside Mirco Schultis he was a runner-up in the PC class, with three victories (Laguna Seca, Road America, Petit Le Mans) and other three podiums on his account.
In 2015, Renger dropped to the 5th position overall despite winning the races at Belle Isle, where his co-driver was Schultis, and at Watkins Glen where he was driving alongside Alex Popow and Mike Hedlund.
Alex Popow and Renger van der Zande after their win at Lime Rock Park in 2016
Finally, in 2016, Renger van der Zande reached the top spot on the podium. Driving alongside Alex Popow, the pair of Starworks Motorsport’s drivers won the races at Belle Isle, Watkins Glen, Lime Rock Park, and Circuit of the Americas on the way to the title. It was a very close season in which PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ driver Tom Kimber-Smith and Robert Alon scored the same number of points but thanks to the bigger number of race wins, van der Zande and Popow were crowned as the champions.
Good start with the new team in 2017
After winning the title in 2016, Renger left Starworks Motorsport and joined VisitFlorida Racing. He debuted in the Prototype class at Rolex 24 at Daytona driving alongside Rene Rast and Marc Goossens. They finished 3rd and announced another good campaign and a battle for another title.
Since 2017 Renger van der Zande is a driver of VisitFlorida Racing