Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R will start the Rolex 24 at Daytona from pole position tomorrow, after driver Renger Van Der Zande posted the fastest lap time during Qualifying: 1:36.083. The lap was just .007 seconds faster than the time posted by Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves in the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi.
Trailing the Acura DPi in Qualifying was the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R (1:36.194) in third, while the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Cadillac prototype (1:36.472) landed in fifth, and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac (1:36.508) in seventh. Amazingly, the top nine DPi contenders all Qualified within 0.5 seconds of one another.
“I am super thrilled to be in the Konica Minolta Cadillac,” Van Der Zande said. He achieved his pole-winning lap time on his very last go around the track. “I didn’t expect to get the pole. When the team told me on the radio I got pole, I was excited. On the final lap, I overshot Turn 5 and I floored it and the Cadillac stuck.”
“Every lap I was taking time out and pushing,” Van Der Zande continued. “At some of the points, it is seven or eight meters later at the braking markers. The wind was pushing me up toward the wall. I had some traffic in the session. I actually let Helio pass. I was all in on the last lap and it turned out to be fast. It is very, very tight. The most competitive field in a long time. The Konica Minolta team has high expectations. They know how to win a championship.”
Renger Van Der Zande is new to Wayne Taylor Racing, having been brought in to take Ricky Taylor’s place in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R after Ricky announced last year that he’d be leaving to drive for Team Penske in 2018. He will share seat time with the younger Taylor brother, Jordan, for the full 2018 IMSA WeatherTech season.