Renger van der Zande drove his No. 1 Cadillac to the lead in the Chevrolet Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park with 10 minutes to go, cruising to a decisive victory in the seventh round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
He won by a margin of 3.509 seconds after passing Oliver Jarvis’s No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura with 10 minutes to go to claim the third win of the season for the No. 1 Cadillac.
The victory was unexpected and was not without its struggles.
“This race wasn’t going to be ours,” he said, “We changed the car around completely after the warm-up practice this morning and didn’t know what to expect. The changes worked, but the power steering failed, and that was the toughest part of today.
“I knew I needed traffic to get by, so it was maximum attack, full risk,” he added. “I thought, ‘This is the time to go,’ and it worked.”
Teammate Sebastien Bourdais qualified the No. 01 Cadillac fifth fastest, but he gave all the credit to van der Zande for expertly navigating the 11-turn, 2.459-mile road course.
“That was all him,” Bourdais remarked. “With the massive power steering issues, I was barely hanging on and I have no idea how he put that thing up there to fight those guys. He obviously reads traffic super-well, and when he gets all wound up with emotions, he uses that anger in a positive way. He really made it work today, and it was very impressive.”
It was van der Zande’s 17th victory in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition and the 10th for Bourdais.
Tom Blomqvist, who set a record qualifying lap to capture the pole in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura, and co-driver, Oliver Jarvis, finished second. Pipo Derani and Olivier Pla completed the podium after finishing third in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac.
CORE Autosport’s Colin Braun and Jon Bennett won the LMP3 Class finishing ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Jarrett Andretti and Gabby Chaves. Ari Balogh and Garrett Grist placed third in the No. 30 Jr III Motorsports Ligier.
The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is August 4-7 at Road America for prototype classes DPi, LMP2 and LMP3.