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Team Netherlands signs rookie van der Zande

NEWS STORY
03/10/2006

20 year old Renger van der Zande (right) is the new second driver of A1 Team Netherlands. This season at the A1GP he will drive during the 'Rookie test', the special test session for drivers up to 25 years of age, on Friday. Furthermore Van der Zande is the team's reserve driver, next to lead driver Jeroen Bleekemolen.

Jan Lammers: "Renger is still young, open minded and has got a lot of potential. He can use fully use A1GP to bring himself to a higher level. A nice extra is the fact that Nico Hülkenberg, who won the A1GP Feature race last Sunday, finished behind Renger in the Rookie Cup of the German F3 Championship. This as an example of what he can be capable of. We would like that Renger can work without pressure on his progression and can develop further as a racing driver. Jeroen will be the one for us that has to bring home the points. Renger can use the Friday sessions to familiarize himself with the atmosphere of A1GP and the power of the car, because it is faster then anything he has driven up to now. At the same time he can get to know some circuits all over the world. We hope that by introducing young drivers we are able to connect with the companies. The car is still bright orange because we are cautious in our sponsor policy. We have got a long term strategy where our sponsor acquisition is concerned. We can expect a number of names on the car during this season. The A1GP at Circuit Park Zandvoort has already given us some good relationships."

Renger van der Zande: "This is absolutely great. It's my third year racing cars. Last year I was still watching the spectacular A1GP races on TV and now I am part of this fantastic team. As far as driving the car is concerned, it will be totally different then the Formula 3 I am used to at the moment. That car has got a lot of grip, which will be somewhat less with the A1GP car, but we will start working step by step and see how fast we will be up to speed."

Renger van der Zande started karting at the age of 13 in the regional Maxxis Cup. In his rookie year he immediately clinched the title there. In 2000 Renger finishes 4th in the Dutch Junior Championship and moves on to the European Championships in the ICA class, driving for the semi works CRG Holland team. In 2001 he finishes 8th in the European ICA Championships, in a field of 130 competitors. In 2002 and 2003 Renger competes in the Formula A, the top of international karting and takes some good results, amongst others in the European and World Championships. At the age of 17 Van der Zande switches to autosport, competing in the Dutch Formula Renault 2000 Championships. In his first season he finishes 7th overall. The next year he drives the Dutch and German Formula Renault 2000 Championships and dominantly takes the Dutch title, with 8 race wins, 14 podium finishes, 7 poles and two track records. After his title he tests a 450 bhp Formula Renault World Series car on the Paul Ricard circuit and is fastest rookie. At the start of 2006 Renger is asked by Mercedes-HWA to drive for their Formula 3 team, Seyffarth Motorsport, in the German Recaro Formel 3 Cup. He finished 4th overall and 2nd in the Rookie Championship.

This Friday, Renger will drive the A1 Team Netherlands car for the first time, during the Rookie test at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic. Next weekend the second round of A1GP, World Cup of Motorsport will be held there.

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