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Tag: Renger van der Zande

LotusLotus successfully completed the 2012 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team showed a strong performance at its first year in endurance racing. A pleasant conclusion of the season was the start from Pole Position at the 6 Hours of Shanghai.

At the end of January, the team has announced its participation in the sports cars championship that includes the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. After a first roll out, Lotus was ready for its debut in endurance racing.

The inaugural season of the FIA World Endurance Championship started off with the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, where just one Lotus LMP2 car was in action. Thomas Holzer, Mirco Schultis and Luca Moro were at the wheel of #31. The three drivers showed a good performance in the opening event of the 2012 season and finished the race in sixth position in LMP2 class and tenth overall.

At the 6 Hours of Spa, Lotus was running two of its LMP2 cars for the very first time. Kevin Weeda and former Formula One test driver James Rossiter joined the team in Belgium. The quick and talented Briton Rossiter qualified car #32 outright in the front row of the LMP2 class, just four hundredths of a second behind the Pole sitter. Due to a start from the pit lane after an engine change, Rossiter and his team mates Kevin Weeda and Luca Moro made their way through the field and finished the race in eleventh position. Thomas Holzer, Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande in car #31 were able to achieve their best qualifying result of the season and started from fifth position. The race came to a sudden end for them after a crash one hour before the lapse of time.

The team continued its journey to the biggest race on the calendar, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which also marked the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Because of sporting regulations and limitations, just one Lotus LMP2 car was allowed to participate in the legendary endurance classic. So, Thomas Holzer, Mirco Schultis and Luca Moro represented the black and gold Lotus colours at the Circuit des 24 Heures. The event was interfered by technical problems and led to a retirement early in the morning. Until that time, the car was running well in the race and all drivers showed a solid performance at their first participation at Le Mans.

The FIA World Endurance Championship went into a two-month break before the starting field was back in action for the fourth event of the year at the home of British motorsport. From the 6 Hours of Silverstone, Lotus was contesting with two of its LMP2 cars at every round of the FIA WEC. Former Formula One racer Vitantonio Liuzzi joined the team and was driving alongside Kevin Weeda and James Rossiter in car #32. The weekend of the Italian Liuzzi and his team mates went off anything but ideal having suffered engine failures in the practice sessions and the race. With Christijan Albers, a familiar face was back in a race car. The Dutchman replaced Luca Moro in #31, who could not be with the team because of private reasons. Albers enjoyed being back in a race car after a two years absence and together with his team mates Thomas Holzer and Mirco Schultis he finished the race in 12th position.

The second half of the FIA World Endurance Championship started off with the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo. The fifth round on the calendar was the first of four oversea races in a row and Lotus was in good condition in Brazil. After six hours, both Lotus LMP2 cars took the chequered flag. Car #32 was fighting for the podium, but after an unreasonable decision by the marshals, the crew lost valuable time in the garage and finished the race in sixth position. Car #31 was running trouble-free and was eight in LMP2 class.

Lotus was travelling with a positive feeling to the 6 Hours of Bahrain after the strong performance in the previous race. The round in the desert was special as the race started in daylight and finished at night. Unfortunately, Mirco Schultis was ill and could not take part in the sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. So, just Thomas Holzer and Luca Moro were driving in car #31. The duo did well and Holzer had its best qualifying result until then. That it is very close in LMP2 category demonstrated the crew of car #32. James Rossiter qualified in sixth position, but just one tenth of a second behind the competitor in third position. In the race, Kevin Weeda, James Rossiter and Vitantonio Liuzzi were battling for a podium finish and proved once again that the Lotus LMP2 is competitive. The squad finished the race in fourth position just 30 seconds off from the second place.

The penultimate event of the inaugural season of the FIA World Endurance Championship took place at the foot of the Mount Fuji. The weekend started off with some problems for Lotus, but the team was able to change tack. Vitantonio Liuzzi qualified car #32 in third position, Thomas Holzer in car #31 repeated his best qualifying result with a start from eighth place. The 6 Hours of Fuji race started off well for both Lotus LMP2 cars. #32 was leading its class for a long time, but crossed the finish line in fifth position as a consequence of several collisions with competitors and an unplanned but requested change of the rear end. Thomas Holzer and Mirco Schultis in car #31 were on a solid run and had the pace to finish the race in sixth place. However, an alternator failure forced the German duo to retire. Nevertheless, the team was able to show another strong race performance before heading to the season final.

The 6 Hours of Shanghai marked the last event of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. Lotus was coming highly motivated to China and wanted to end the season on a high note. LMP2 class winner Jan Charouz joined the team as Vitantonio Liuzzi was not able to race in Shanghai. It was a good weekend for the entire Lotus team with Thomas Holzer (#31) being second in the first practice and James Rossiter (#32) in front of his competitors in the second practice session. Both race drivers continued their trend upwards and achieved their best qualifying result of the season. Thomas Holzer qualified sixth in LMP2 class, whereas James Rossiter put his Lotus LMP2 car on Pole Position, which was a big success for the whole team. It was the first Pole Position in Lotus’ young history in endurance racing and a worthy reward for everybody’s hard work. In the race, Briton Rossiter was on a good pace and used his tyres not too hard, so he could keep up with the competitors. Unfortunately, the race for car #32 ended prematurely due to brake problems. Thomas Holzer and Mirco Schultis in car #31 had a strong race and achieved their best result of the year by finishing in sixth position.

It was a good and exciting first season for Lotus in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The squad improved continuously and was a serious competitor in the LMP2 category. The drivers and team members did an incredible job and worked very hard for good results. The Pole Position in Shanghai was the icing on the cake for a challenging but also successful first season in endurance racing.

Lotus is using the winter break to get ready for the new challenges in the FIA World Endurance Championship and is looking forward to competing with its own and brand new sports car, the Lotus T128.

Henry Arundel showed his determined attitude behind the wheel this weekend, with a strong race performance at the challenging Spa- Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.  The British F3 racer recovered from a difficult start in race one to take a seventh place finish in the International Class, with a fifth place finish in race two to improve his position in the 2009 British F3 International Series standings.

Arundel started off the weekend well with a strong performance in free practice, but a small peak in tyre performance in the first qualifying session saw Arundel miss out on the most competitive times to qualify in a disappointing 17th place.  The Links of London backed driver bounced back in second qualifying, putting in a time to line up seventh on the grid for race two.

Warm conditions at the start of race one saw grip levels rise, catching out a number of drivers at the start and causing Arundel and his team mate Chilton to stall on the grid. Both drivers managed to restart but lost several places in the process.  Arundel’s drive back through the field was strong however, and by the end of the race the British racer had recovered to take seventh place in the International Class.

Race two of the weekend was one of the most chaotic of the season so far, as the weather did it’s best to make conditions as difficult as possible for the drivers.  Despite the race start being delayed by ten minutes and declared a wet race due to a sudden rain shower, the majority of the drivers including Arundel took to the track on slick tyres. Arundel made a good start second time around, but was caught out on the challenging Pouhon corner on lap two as he ran wide and lost several positions.  Arundel’s comeback was masterful however, as the Carlin racer coped well with the intermittent rain showers to make up several positions.  As the race entered its final stages, Arundel was closing in on fourth but was held off by a slowing Renger van der Zande which also backed Arundel into team mate Chilton.  Despite a spirited battle right up to the final corner on the last lap, Arundel maintained fifth place as he crossed the line to take the chequered flag.

Reflecting on the weekend, Arundel said, “I was really disappointed with first qualifying; I just didn’t get the best out of the tyres, but I came back and put in a good lap to take ninth for race two.   I lost out in race one after I stalled on the grid, as the grip level was just completely different to what we expected and I think a few drivers were caught out by it.  Having said that I really enjoyed racing back the field; there were some good overtaking manoeuvres.

“Race two was really hard, the track clearly wasn’t ready for wets, but it was really slippery and I just pushed it a bit too far at one point.   Again, I had a good drive back to make up places and had a good fight with Max [Chilton] which was fun.  I was really held up by Zande, I think we could have challenged for third or fourth place, but there seemed to be some over-defensive driving going on.”

Riki Christodoulou has slipped two places to sixth in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series following the latest races in Belgium.

The 21-year-old from Sutton Coldfield suffered a fraught baptism of the demanding Spa-Francorchamps circuit, failing to finish either 30-minute race staged on Friday and Saturday.

Riki acquainted himself of the 4.35-mile circuit in the Ardennes for the very first time by means of just two practice sessions – both staged on a wet track – before qualifying 12th fastest in dry conditions. However, the 13th round of the 20-race series on Friday was over almost before it started for the Sutton Coldfield driver when his Dallara-Mercedes retired after a collision at the La Source hairpin on the opening lap.

“I’d overtaken a number of cars around the outside approaching the tight right-hand hairpin 100 metres after the start but on the exit of the bend, Daisuke Nakajima hit my rear wheel which spun me around,” reflected “Christo”.

“I was then hit by the car of Walter Grubmuller causing a lot of damage and my instant retirement.”

Having qualified eighth in wet conditions, Riki lined-up sixth on the grid for the second race after two cars were bumped to the back of the grid and was fourth by the second lap – the track made treacherously slippery moments before the start due to heavy rain but with all cars starting on dry weather, “slick” tyres.

But “Christo” collided with Renger van der Zande on the eighth lap at La Source when challenging for third place. It marked the first time Riki had failed to score a single point and non-finish both races in his maiden F3 season.

“I’m totally gutted for myself and the Fortec team,” said Riki. “One minute it was raining, then it had stopped, then raining again – it was incredible conditions. I caught Renger into the chicane under braking and lunged down the inside for third place but my car unfortunately slid wide and into his car with my front right wheel which bent the suspension putting me out.

“Looking back on the incident even now makes so angry – a podium place was there for the taking but the conditions just caught me out.”

Next stop for “Christo” is a two-day test at Pembrey in Wales (3-4 August) before competing on the 3.173-mile “International” track at Silverstone on 16 August.

“I scored my first F3 podium with second place at Silverstone in May and especially after some poor results after I won at Snetterton earlier this month, I have to bounce back at Silverstone,” concluded Riki.

Spa-Francorchamps nr Liege (Bel), Rds 13 & 14:

Race 1: Qualifying Pos: 12th (2min 16.342secs) Dry/Overcast. Race Result: Accident (Dry/sunny).
Race 2: Qualifying Pos: 8th (2:39.990) Wet/Rain. Race Result: Accident (Damp/wet/cloudy/rain).

2009 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series*: 1 Ricciardo (AUS) 177 points; 2 Grubmuller (A) 140; 3 van der Zande (NL) 125; 4 Buzaid (BRA) 99; 5 Chilton (GB) 90; 6 Christodoulou (GB) 86. (Provisional standings).

Carlin driver Daniel Ricciardo stormed to victory in the British F3 International Series today, in round 12 of the season at Spa-Francorchamps. The 20 year-old driver further strengthened his position in the championship, with a dominant victory to extend his lead in the standings to 34 points. Carlin’s regular Euro Series racer Jake Rosenzweig made an impressive race debut in the British Series, finishing fifth overall, which put him third in the Invitation Class. Max Chilton suffered early disappointment when he stalled off the line from his second placed grid slot, but a spirited drive through the field saw him finally finish ninth overall and fifth in the International Class. Philip Major took his best ever British F3 finish of his career, with an 11th place on the road and seventh place in the International Class standings, just in front of team mate Henry Arundel.

Following a strong qualifying session from the team yesterday, Ricciardo lined up on pole for the first race of the weekend, with Chilton alongside him in second. As the lights went out, Ricciardo made a good start to retain the lead in the drag down to the first corner. Team mate Chilton meanwhile stalled off the grid and was hit from behind by fourth place man Hywel Lloyd, sustaining a rear left puncture in the process.

As the cars exited the first corner, a crash involving Ricciardo’s championship rival Walter Grubmuller brought out the safety car. That benefited Chilton, who had limped back to the pits for a quick change of his rear left tyre before rejoining the rest of the field behind the safety car. At the restart, Ricciardo managed the field well to maintain the lead, while Chilton had already started his charge through the field and was up to 14th place by lap seven.

Behind Ricciardo, Rosenzweig was making up places to lie eighth after the restart and passed Diaz and Buzaid to take sixth on lap six. Major meanwhile was dicing in the mid field, lying in 15th place on lap eight, and moving up to 12th on lap 10. Having stalled on the grid Henry Arundel was also making his way through the field, overtaking to the final lap to come home in 13th place. Having taken the chequered flag, Rosenzweig, Major and Arundel all made up a place following the demotion of Carlos Huertas for a grid infringement.

With several additional entries into the British F3 event at Spa this weekend, the number of cars racing under ‘Invitation Class’ stood at five. With Invitation Class cars not counted in the championship standings, Ricciardo’s lead over the next British car on track stood at a full 10 seconds, while Chilton’s ferocious drive through the field was rewarded with a fifth place, with Major seventh and Arundel eighth.

Speaking about his fourth British F3 victory, Ricciardo said, “I had a good start but there was a safety car almost straight away and thankfully I got a good restart once it went green again. The first lap after the restart was what helped me I think, I pushed hard, I had a lot of grip on the new tyres which helped me break the elastic band so the drivers behind me couldn’t get a tow. Then it was about being consistent. I could see Renger [van der Zande] and Jules [Bianchi] fighting behind me; Bianchi finally got through and I saw him close in on me at the end, but it wasn’t enough to catch me so I didn’t take any risks. It’s a good result.”

Following a one minute penalty for sixth placed man Adriano Buzaid for a grid place infringement, Max Chilton, Philip Major and Henry Arundel move up one place in the final standings for round 13 of the 2009 British F3 International Series at Spa- Francorchamps.

Max Chilton consequently finished eighth overall and fourth in the International Class, Major moves up to 10th overall and sixth in the International Class, with Arundel 11th overall and seventh in the International Class standings.

Jake RosenzweigJake Rosenzweig joins Carlin’s British F3 racers for this weekend’s round of the 2009 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series in Spa. The American racer comes fresh from his first F3 Euro Series podium in Zandvoort last weekend and will be hoping for a repeat performance on his British F3 debut. Rosenzweig will be racing alongside championship leader Daniel Ricciardo, Max Chilton, Henry Arundel and Philip Major.

Last time out at Donington, Daniel Ricciardo took a podium in race one to boost his championship standing, but lost out in race two having been the innocent victim of an over ambitions overtaking manoeuvre by Renger van der Zande. Chilton meanwhile came home in a strong sixth place in race one, adding a seventh place to that in race two. Having struggled in qualifying and suffering a clutch problem on the grid for race one, Henry Arundel fought back with a 13th place and a solid sixth place finish in race two. The newest member of Carlin’s British F3 squad, Philip Major, finished 15th in race one but was unable to finish the second race of the day following an incident on lap three.

Meanwhile team mate Jake Rosenzweig made it three podiums in three different countries for Carlin last weekend, with a well fought third place in race two at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands. The American racer finished seventh in the first race of the weekend; earning him a second place grid slot for the reverse grid race on Sunday. From there, Rosenzweig raced hard to hold off fourth place man Christian Vietoris and take his first ever podium in Formula 3. Rosenzweig’s podium in Zandvoort followed podiums for Oliver Turvey and Jaime Alguersuari in the Formula Renault 3.5 race in Le Mans and of course Ricciardo’s third place at Donington.

Speaking about joining his Carlin team mates in the British series, Rosenzweig said, “I’m really excited to racing in Spa this weekend, it’s always good to get as much race experience as possible and it will be a new challenge to compete in a new championship on different tyres. It was a good confidence boost to finish on the podium at the last Euro Series round at Zandvoort, so I’m hoping to make the most of this opportunity in the British Series this weekend.”

Team Principal Trevor Carlin added, “Spa is always a highlight on the British F3 calendar and is a particular favourite of the team having been the location for our first ever 1-2-3-4 finish last season. As other teams have become more competitive we’re not expecting the same result this year, but we’ll still be aiming for the top step. Spa is a great challenge for all the British F3 drivers; let’s hope they can just get on with racing, rather than playing the team orders game which may have been the case at previous events this year.”

a-good-start-to-the-f3-seasonThe opening round of the F3 Euroseries at Hockenheim got off to a good start for the Prema powerteam, confirming their hopes after strong winter testing. Prema’s Dutch driver, Renger van der Zande claimed a brilliant 4th place in qualifying which he converted into a hard fought 4th in the first race after exciting duels between the drivers at the top, gaining valuable points for both team and driver.

For race two disaster struck when debris punctured the 21 year old’s radiator on the formation lap, causing him to lose oil. Hockenheim was also a positive weekend for Michael Patrizi, who grew stronger as the weekend wore on. After a cautious start on Saturday Michael fought his way through to 16th place at the flag, while on Sunday he came home in 14th beating many more experienced drivers in the class.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal:
“I always believed in our ability to fight at the front of this difficult c hampionship, and the outcome of the start to the season is quite positive. Both of our drivers gave good accounts of themselves. As I’ve said before, the level of competition is very high this year, with many of the big manufacturers using this championship as a testing ground for their young protègès. For the next round, our aim is to confirm our level of performance and to continue progressing forward and improving step by step.”

Dutch rookie Renger van der Zande has signed with Prema Powerteam for the 2007 F3 Euro Series Championship. Renger, current rookie driver in A1 team Netherlands, ended last years German Recaro Cup in fourth position. With 8 podium finishes and a pole he demonstrated his potential.

Born 16th of February 1986 in the Netherlands, he started karting at the age of 12 years. With many top results in 100cc Formula A in German, Italian, European and World Championships he entered Formula Renault 2.0 at van Amersfoort Racing in 2004.

In 2005 he dominated this class in Germany and the Netherlands with a lot of wins and became Dutch Champion. After a series of impressive tests with the leading Euro Series teams in November last year., Renger made his choice for Prema Powerteam. The match with Angelo Rosin’s team feels promising for the Flying Dutchman. Meanwhile the team has restructured t heir technical department to strengthen operations for the 2007 season.

Angelo Rosin – Prema Powerteam Team Principal: “We are very happy to have Renger with us. What caught my attention at his test at Hockenheim, was his outright speed and his good technical feed back. The fact that we were able to reach an agreement with Renger to work together and compete in the F3 Euro Series makes me happy. Renger is one of the most promising drivers in the European scene and with him we are convinced that we can achieve the results that we expect and hope for. We have modified our technical structure. This year I personally will guide the team in the whole Championship to support Renger and the other Prema drivers using the experience I have obtained during my total motor sport career.”

Renger van der Zande: “For me it is a very nice next step. Since my karting days I considered F3 Euro Series as my favourite class out of which a lot of high level drivers developed. Prema is for me Premium! I love the Italian lifestyle and the Prema way of working. The structure and organisation of the team is professional and they have the right staff and contacts to set up a winning car. Among the winter tests I did, the Prema test at Hockenheim worked out great. This inspires me to catch up 2007 with large ambitions. I can’t wait starting my Italian language courses and joining the team”