Ask Renger: Laguna Seca
At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Renger van der Zande asked you to send him your questions about the race weekend. In addition to answering all of them, he picked his favorite question to win a signed visor, read his answers and find out the winner below!
Steve: How many air miles have you racked up so far this year? Air miles have been crazy. Especially in January and February, when I was going to Florida 3 times, and then to Dubai and also Australia for Bathurst.
Vickie: With your practice time 1:20.094 what would your time be if you ran track in reverse?
I don’t have a clue! I have never tried it, but it would be fun though!
Michael: Why do you think you are so quick in the rain?
Thank you for that. I do feel very confident in the rain and in this LMPC car especially. In the beginning, I thought it was because the American drivers are not used to it, because I always saw the American racing being stopped when there was rain coming. But that is not the case, as we saw that at Petit Le Mans last year! I think this LMPC car gives great feedback to the driver in the rain and I am confident there.
Ben: What’s the worst race car you’ve ever driven?
I drove a Volvo 360 cup race. For sure that was the slowest car I have driven. But at the same time I had so much fun that day. The racing was truly great fun, and those guys knew their car inside out so the competition was tough!
Ben: Has anyone ever pronounced your name correctly?
Some people call me the Walker Texas Ranger.
Harry: What is the most challenging turn or turns on the racetrack and how much of a compromise do you take to maximize the car?
Laguna Seca is a nonstop track. Never a dull moment. There’s no time to rest or relax, which is what makes it hard. I think the combination of the fast T7, Corkscrew and that fast left hander just after that again makes it with all the height difference very challenging to get a good lap together.
Stephen: How do you fully prepare for a race weekend?
I watch a little bit on onboard for new tracks and if my teammate wants information about the track I work it out, which is a good prep for me too. Next to that, I work with my engineers on what setup we want to use.
Tim: During long stints, what do you do when you need to go to the restroom?
I have” been there and DONE that.”
Tim: In all the years you been racing have you had a favorite race car?
I have raced quite a bit in the Mercedes GT3 SLS and it’s such an iconic race car. I like it a lot.
Baptiste: Which do you prefer, kart racing or prototype racing?
Kart racing is loads of fun, but the real deal is the prototype racing.
Eric: How many spankings is Peter getting on his birthday this year?
That’s not only happening on his birthday.
Jessica: On average, how many wedgies is he afflicted with per race weekend? Those onesie race suits have got to ride.
NO IDEA, and I don’t want to know!
Andrew: If it were up to you, would you change it so PC cars had roofs on them for added safety, or do you prefer driving an open cockpit car?
I do like the open cockpit. There should be some old school racing factors in there and having your head in the wind is one of the better ones.
Danny: What’s the estimated number of shifts during this race?
No idea. It’s a lot!
And the winning question:
David Stunnenberg: Can you describe the feeling you get when you go through the corkscrew the first time during a weekend?
It’s a good question. When I fly all the way from Holland to California, leaving the house, taking the tram and train, a 12 hour flight and a four hour rental car ride, track walk and a jetlagged night of sleep, I am always very happy to jump in my racecar and get that thing to race around! Laguna Seca is a highlight track for me, and so is the corkscrew. It’s a corner that you go in completely blind, and the first time you can really see the track again is when you are already going down, it’s quite a thrill. This first time going to the corkscrew you are on cold tyres and honestly you just take it very easy. BUT, it’s that moment once a year of, “Hello crazy corner, I am back!”
Congratulations, David! For the rest of you, you’ll have another shot to win a prize next month for the Detroit Grand Prix #AskRenger!