L&T Motorsport

Van der Zande takes extraordinary victory for Visit Florida Racing at Monterey

Renger van der Zande gave Visit Florida Racing a brilliant win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca after he made an incredible late-race move on Dane Cameron into the Corkscrew on the penultimate lap.

The #31 Action Express Whelen Cadillac of Cameron had led the final hour of the race after performing an undercut on the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac driven at the time by Jordan Taylor, but could not hold on to the victory.

Van der Zande in his #90 Visit Florida Racing Ligier LMP2 steadily closed the gap to the leader in the final quarter of an hour, before performing a daring, late-on-the-brakes overtake into the Corkscrew.

The #31 Cadillac appeared to have rear bodywork damage late in the race before it lost the lead, and had an off-track moment while passing a GTD Porsche.

The victory comes as the first of the season for the Visit Florida Racing crew and marks the first win for an LMP2-spec machine in the new-for-2017 Prototype era.

Cameron went on to finish two seconds adrift of the overall race winner, with the polesitting WTR Cadillac of Jordan Taylor completing the podium, on a weekend in which they had shown outstanding pace.

Ricky Taylor had an ideal start after getting away cleanly from pole position and extending his lead, only to be hindered by a caution with just over an hour to go, which closed up the field.

Action Express Racing and Dane Cameron took full advantage and pitted early for their final stop to perform the undercut and gain the lead, before later relinquishing it to the rapid van der Zande.

In fourth position finished the #85 JDC/Miller Motorsports ORECA of Stephen Simpson, the team enjoying good pace after Misha Goikhberg got a lightning start and jumped from last in class to fifth position on the first lap, swooping round the outside deep on the brakes at turn one.

Rounding out the top five was Joao Barbosa in his #5 Action Express DPi, ahead of Ryan Dalziel in the #2 Extreme Speed Motorsports Nissan DPi, which had showed good pace in morning warm-up but failed to convert that into a good result in the race.

Next was Olivier Pla in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier LMP2, which was looking strong in the closing stages of the race, until a spin for Pla halted its progress.

Finishing eighth and last in class was the #22 ESM Nissan DPi of Luis Felipe Derani.

 

Featured image: Credit to Credit to IMSA/Autosport.nl

Michael Haffenden

Second year Journalism student at the University of Kent, with a huge passion for Motorsport. Love all types of motor racing from F1 to touring cars but endurance and sportscar racing has to be my favourite. Primarily cover IMSA United SportsCars for L&T Motorsport, but can be found writing about other series, including ELMS, WEC and 24H Series races.

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