Renger van der Zande to drive for Team Holland
For the final three races of the 2006/07 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport season, A1 Team Netherlands will see track action with a different line up. Rookie driver Renger van der Zande will drive in the upcoming A1GP Sprint race in Mexico City and will also take on Saturday's qualifying. After that, Jeroen Bleekemolen will take over the wheel from Van der Zande for the Feature race.
The race after at Shanghai will be the first time that Renger will drive the entire weekend and in the final race at Brands Hatch, Jeroen will again drive as usual this season. Renger will then only go out in the Rookie test on Friday morning.
A1 Team Netherlands seat holder Jan Lammers took a number of significant factors into account when taking the decision to give Renger this chance to show himself in the ‘World Cup of Motorsport’; “Let one thing be very clear up front, we are not doing this because we are unhappy about the performance of Jeroen Bleekemolen. On the contrary, he is doing very well, both for us and for himself. That is also the theme at Racing for Holland and A1 Team Netherlands; ‘Working on yourself together’. That is something that Jeroen understands very well and it is why he is cooperating and is giving Renger the opportunity to display himself under race conditions and the team the chance to introduce young talent.
We want to present the opportunity to talented drivers to show themselves on this level in front of a large international racing audience and simultaneously give their commercial support team an extra tool to get the business community involved. It would be the easiest thing, now that Jeroen is performing very well, to leave things unchanged. But, we cannot ignore the importance of the development of the team as a whole. By giving Renger this chance on this level and in this fantastic series we hope to grow even more enthusiasm with a broader audience. At the same time, looking forward to next season, we are getting a better picture of Renger during race conditions in A1GP and how having two drivers each doing a race in one race weekend is working out”.
Apart from a new driver in the Mexico Sprint race A1 Team Netherlands also has a new team engineer for the final three races. Last season Tim Wright got acquainted with A1GP and A1 Team Netherlands briefly at the A1GP in Malaysia, filling in as team engineer. The 28 year old Wright, who lives just outside of Antwerp in Belgium, worked for Pi, the software company responsible for the data logging in A1GP, during his study. After graduation Tim worked for the Astromega F3000 team and for Racing Engineering in GP2, where he managed to win two races with Neel Jani. At the moment Tim is, besides A1GP, working as engineer at Campos GP in GP2 and in the Spanish F3 Championship. There he is working with Nicolas Prost, son of multiple F1 World Champion Alain Prost.
“Tim is the right man for the job and completely up to date with the latest developments on the technical side, data, analysis and implementation. Especially during the practice sessions and qualifying we hope to benefit from that”.
The A1GP Mexico City, Mexico, round nine of the 2006/07 season will be held from 23-25 March at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the former F1 circuit where recently the NASCAR and Champ Car series raced at.