Daytona Beach, Fla. (2016 November 14) – VISIT FLORIDA Racing has secured a new driver pairing to campaign its all-new car for the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Set to share the No. 90 VISIT FLORIDA Racing Gibson-powered Riley Technologies MK XXX, the team will feature a new driver line up in 2017 with Marc Goossens returning to the squad after debuting with VISIT FLORIDA Racing for a full season campaign in 2016. He will be joined by Dutch racer Renger van der Zande in the Gibson-Riley. The 2016 IMSA PC class champion steps up to the Prototype ranks following several years of PC and GT class competition.
Having driven in virtually every race series including Formula Renault, A1GP, GP2, DTM, ALMS, WEC, DTM, Porsche SuperCup, Blancpain Endurance Series, and IMSA, van der Zande looks to put that diverse skill set to good use as he joins VISIT FLORIDA Racing in the top Prototype category.
“I cannot wait to see our new car soon – it’s just great to have the opportunity to race for overall victories and be right there for a new era with the DPi class,” said van der Zande who has nine wins and 18 podiums to his credit in LMPC. “The competition is very strong and I am ready to do battle with my VISIT FLORIDA Racing team. Marc (Goossens) is a great guy. We raced against each other when I made my first outings in GT racing. We speak the same language in two ways – we both speak Dutch but also have a great understanding between us. It’s an advantage to have a guy like Marc alongside me who has been with the VISIT FLORIDA team for a year and has tons of racing experience.”
Goossens, who also has a wide range of experience in various types of machinery, is eager to return to the VISIT FLORIDA Racing team as the organization transitions from the Daytona Prototype platform to the Gibson-Riley Prototype.
“I’ve known Renger (van der Zande) for quite some time – we raced for the same team in BRL V6 in The Netherlands back in 2009 but we were in separate cars,” said Goossens, who joined Ryan Dalziel in the VISIT FLORIDA Racing Corvette DP last year earning a season-best finish of second at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “I’ve kept an eye on him ever since, and I do rate his talent very highly. I am very happy to be back with VISIT FLORIDA Racing. Continuity is very often a key to success and I’m feeling very positive about the new prototype. It is a new platform for everybody, so everyone essentially starts from scratch. And of course it goes without saying that I am looking forward to driving a Riley-built car again. I’ve worked with Bill and Bob Riley for over 15 years and I know that they will supply us with a very competitive chassis. This combined with the global-spec Gibson engine should be a strong package when we start the season at Daytona.”
Team Owner Troy Flis could not be more pleased with how VISIT FLORIDA Racing’s 2017 campaign is taking shape.
“We are thrilled to have VISIT FLORIDA back with us again in 2017,” said Team Owner Troy Flis. “We’ve put together a great partnership and we’re looking forward to kicking off the 2017 IMSA season with our first two events right here in Florida and with a brand new car carrying the VISIT FLORIDA colors. We’re all very excited about the 2017 season, and having Renger (van der Zande) join our full-time driver line up. We have been watching him through the years and think he’ll be a great co-driver for Marc (Goossens) and just a great addition to our VISIT FLORIDA Racing team.”
VISIT FLORIDA Racing will receive its Gibson-Riley Prototype in the coming weeks and will immediately get straight to work on preparations for 2017 as pre-season testing begins prior to the annual Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 6-8.