van der Zande: I drove the heck out of it and gave it my all


Racing where the team first got its start, VISIT FLORIDA Racing finished an improbable third in the Rolex 24 At Daytona this weekend after 659 laps, hundreds of man hours, and countless late nights of preparation.

Renger van der Zande: “Before going into the race, we thought this was more like our Roar because we were going to treat it like testing, but we went straight to a 24 hour race. Without much testing, and finishing third in a 24 race, it is phenomenal. I’m happy for the team and for the drivers. I drove the heck out of it and gave it my all, and I think my teammates were on the same pace – it’s great to have teammates like that. The strategy calls were also really good. I was surprised at the speed of the Cadillacs, it was a little over the top. The gap is way too big, so I hope IMSA can do something about that. But for us to be on the podium at Daytona is a pretty cool effort.”

René Rast: “The longest run we did before this race was quite short and we didn’t even know if we’d be able to run for one hour but actually here we are and we ran without any single problem for 24 hours. It is kind of amazing, because normally, to do that, you need 20 days of testing and we made it without a big test program. It was such a big team effort, the VISIT FLORIDA guys worked flat out for the last few weeks, just amazing. They gave us a flawless car, and we just had to bring it home.”

Marc Goossens: “If you look at the trouble we had this week preparing for the race it just shows how good of a team we have. It is a small group but it’s one big family. I just told our truckie the hours he has driven this week to go and get parts and get replacements and everything is just enormous. How much effort has been put in is amazing and I think this is a big reward for the whole team. Performance-wise it was quite obvious what happened here and I’m almost certain that IMSA saw it and they will do what is necessary to balance things out (compared to the DPi). But it is what it is and we have to keep going and do what we need to do and I think we did that today. I’m pretty happy with my own race and I’m very happy with my two teammates. If you look at that car, there is not one scratch on there, we did not have any contact. So that is awesome and what we expect, but it isn’t always like that and especially in these circumstances because we had so much rain. The track was extremely difficult at some points. To end up on the podium today is just amazing and all the credit goes to the team.”