Van der Zande: Fourth place not what we came for
Renger van der Zande finished fourth in Sunday's IMSA Monterey Grand Prix, but believes he and team-mate Jordan Taylor deserved to have finished on the podium at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Dutchman ran in third for the majority of the race in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-VR, but was passed by Pipo Derani's #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac in the closing stages to drop down to fourth place.
“I drove my heart out,” said van der Zande on WTR's website. “I think Jordan did a fantastic job in qualifying, and in the first stint today he did exactly what we needed – he kept the car in P3 and I was able to keep it in P3."
Taylor started the race, but then handed over to Van der Zande, who attempted to challenge the dominant Team Penske Acuras who had been leading the race from the start.
"I fought really hard for P2, but this is one of the most difficult tracks to overtake," the Dutchman continued. "You could see the guys who finished ahead of us, they had so much more pace where it was really only the first stint of the two I drove against them I could fight because they probably had a little bit of trouble with tire pressures. Then, as soon as they got their second set of tires on their cars, they just disappeared in the distance."
Van der Zande's push for second place ultimately was not without consequences, as it resulted in the Konica Minolta Cadillac losing out on the third and final podium spot when the red-and-white Whelen Engineering car closed in and managed to pass the struggling 2017 Laguna Seca race winner.
"I burned my tires a bit too much in the beginning of the last run trying to get by Castroneves for second. And that’s why at the end I struggled quite badly. In bad traffic, getting held up, unfortunately I had to let Derani get by and so we finished fourth. That’s not what we came for. We came to win.”
Van der Zande and Taylor now sit in sixth place in the DPi championship standings with 242 points, 32 less than the leading duo of Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya. The 2019 IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship concludes with Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Saturday, October 12th.