Championship leader Van der Zande loses WTR drive for 2021

Renger van der Zande will part ways with Wayne Taylor Racing at the conclusion of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, despite currently leading the points race.

Championship leader Van der Zande loses WTR drive for 2021

Dutch driver van der Zande as recently as this week told Motorsport.com that he had been expecting to remain at the squad for a fourth successive season as WTR makes the transition from Cadillac to Acura DPi machinery for the 2021 campaign.

His links to Acura parent Honda, for which he races in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, appeared to make him a strong candidate to return to the squad for whom he has twice won the Rolex 24 Hours (2019 and ’20) and Petit Le Mans (2018 and ’20).

Ricky Taylor is widely expected to return to his father's outfit next year following a three-year spell with Acura Team Penske, and most sportscar insiders believe he will be joined by current Action Express Racing endurance 'extra' Filipe Albuquerque.

That would mean that both van der Zande and his current teammate Ryan Briscoe will lose their full-time rides with WTR after the next two races, despite currently leading the standings by eight points ahead of – ironically – the Acura Team Penske pairing of Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves.

Read Also:

"They're going for somebody else," van der Zande told Motorsport.com. "During the Daytona 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans I was the fastest man on the track, the statistics show that too. I'm leading the championship [along with Briscoe], I have three years of experience with this team… 

"I am now at Spa for the 24 Hours and everywhere in the paddock I hear surprised reactions. I'm not the only one who thinks it's a strange decision."

#10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. Cadillac DPi, DPi: Renger Van Der Zande, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon

#10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. Cadillac DPi, DPi: Renger Van Der Zande, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

The result of this decision means that van der Zande is in danger of not having a full-time IMSA ride for next season, especially as next season appears set to feature a diminished field of DPis at the head of the field.

He added: "I still have to talk to other teams but it's too late for that. A lot of teams already have the line-up for next year."

If Albuquerque is indeed confirmed at WTR, it means a full-time return after a year as Action Express Racing's 'third man' having lost out when AXR slimmed from two Cadillacs to a single one this year and hired Pipo Derani to accompany incumbent Felipe Nasr.

This year Albuquerque has also claimed the European Le Mans Series crown with a round to spare and victory in the LMP2 class of the Le Mans 24 Hours, both with United Autosports.

Albuquerque could theoretically combine a WTR drive in IMSA with another season in the WEC with United, as the two schedules do not clash at all in 2021.

#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi, DPi: Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr, Filipe Albuquerque

#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi, DPi: Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr, Filipe Albuquerque

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Kobayashi: Chances of WTR Rolex 24 return "nearly zero"

Previous article

Kobayashi: Chances of WTR Rolex 24 return "nearly zero"

Next article

Corvette salutes Gavin as full-time role comes to an end

Corvette salutes Gavin as full-time role comes to an end
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020