Renger van der Zande hadn’t even crossed the end line at Daytona earlier than he was on his technique to Sebring.
That’s how skilled racers cope with devastating losses.
Van der Zande was chasing down Filipe Albuquerque for the lead throughout the ultimate laps of the 59th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 31 when a punctured proper rear tire despatched him to the pits and ended any probability of his third consecutive victory within the well-known endurance race.
As an alternative, he returned to the monitor to complete fifth, then instantly turned his focus to a different well-known endurance race – the 69th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Introduced by Advance Auto Elements on March 20. It’s the subsequent occasion on the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule.
“After I completed the race, I used to be already over it,” van der Zande stated Wednesday. “In the mean time we crossed the end line, the one factor I took out of it was that we have been in an opportunity to win that race – and we have been in a actually good probability to win that race.”
That’s what van der Zande and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammates, together with full-time co-driver Kevin Magnussen and endurance co-driver Scott Dixon, are taking from Daytona: Their No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R is quick sufficient to contend for the Daytona Prototype worldwide (DPi) championship.
“You look to the optimistic in what individuals would understand to be essentially the most destructive scenario,” stated Mike Hull, Chip Ganassi Racing’s managing director. “Your mindset is completely completely different. I believe that in all probability represents individuals in enterprise or individuals in different sports activities conditions. I imply, there was just one staff that received the Tremendous Bowl. What’s each staff within the NFL doing right now? They’re engaged on subsequent yr’s Tremendous Bowl proper now.”
The impetus for wanting ahead with enthusiasm lies in what occurred earlier than the tire went down at Daytona. All through the race, van der Zande, Magnussen and Dixon had the automotive in competition, even recording the quickest lap of the 24-hour, 807-lap marathon on Daytona Worldwide Speedway’s highway course.
“It simply exhibits that we had a very quick automotive,” van der Zande stated. “I hate ending fifth once I can’t struggle for the win, however I used to be combating for the win and completed fifth. That’s an entire completely different story between these two methods of ending fifth. It simply exhibits that the potential for the remainder of the yr is big. That’s what I’m wanting ahead to.”
He’s doing it with a staff that – whereas in its first season with the Cadillac DPi – is hardly inexperienced with the automotive or the collection. CGR has seven IMSA championships and 64 victories to its credit score, together with eight Rolex 24 wins.
“The individuals the staff attracts are those who need to be with the most effective. They need to be at Chip Ganassi Racing,” van der Zande stated. “The people who find themselves new to the staff are very high-end individuals, as properly. I all the time really feel it begins with the philosophy on the prime – Mike Hull and Chip and Mike O’Gara (CGR’s IMSA staff supervisor). They’re actually in it to go racing and race for the wins.”
It additionally has a stellar driver lineup suited to the automotive, which Hull says favors open-wheel drivers. Van der Zande has an in depth historical past in Formulation 3 in his background, Magnussen spent the earlier seven years in Formulation One, and Dixon is, properly, Dixon – the proprietor of six IndyCar championships and 50 race wins, which rank third all-time in Indy automotive racing, trailing solely A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.
Dixon and van der Zande had earlier expertise within the Cadillac, with van der Zande profitable the Rolex 24 for Wayne Taylor Racing the earlier two seasons. Dixon joined him with WTR for final yr’s victory.
“The (Cadillac) is extra suited to a fire-breathing, open-wheel race driver,” Hull stated. “With a single-seater driver, the drive type it takes is far more so than it’s ever been earlier than. That’s our opinion. We’ve got three actually good single-seater drivers – with completely different backgrounds, clearly, however they’ve that in frequent.”
The trick of shifting ahead after disappointment, although, could possibly be persistent positivity. The core group across the No. 01 automotive – Hull, O’Gara, lead engineer John Hennek and crew chief Phil Binks – knew they have been on to one thing good at Daytona regardless of the unhealthy outcome.
“They’re not finger-pointing,” van der Zande stated. “They’re solely very crucial about what occurred with a purpose to develop into higher. They’re not targeted on fault; they’re simply targeted on shifting ahead and getting higher. That’s why they’re so good at swallowing these sorts of losses.”
Largely, staff members say, it’s as a result of they’ve been by the wringer of racing. What seems to be victory can flip to disappointment right away. Typically, although, disappointment hides potential.
“Did the outcome measure as much as what we have been doing?” Hull requested. “Sure, it did. In an effort to end first, you need to have a automotive that’s able to ending first. We actually confirmed that we have been capable of create that chance for us as a staff. Similar to Renger, I’m pondering Sebring’s coming fairly fast right here.”
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