BROWNSBURG, Ind. – IndyCar Series and sports car veteran Ryan Briscoe will join Renger van der Zande as a full-time co-driver of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year.
The duo’s first order of business will be defending the team’s victory in January’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, doing so with the additions of Kamui Kobayashi, the former Formula One and current FIA World Endurance Championship regular who was part of this year’s victorious Rolex 24 effort, as well as five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.
Briscoe, 38, joins the team after a four-year run with the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT Le Mans-class program. With full-time co-driver Richard Westbrook and the addition of Dixon at the endurance events, his No. 67 Ford GT scored eight class wins, 18 podium finishes and eight pole positions in 44 races, including a class victory in the 2018 Rolex 24.
Briscoe was also part of CGR’s 24 Hours of Le Mans effort the past four seasons, with a best class finish of third in 2016.
In 11 seasons on the IndyCar circuit, including three with Ganassi and five with Team Penske, Briscoe scored seven victories and 27 podium finishes and qualified on the pole 12 times, including the pole at the 2012 Indianapolis 500.
His best IndyCar points finish was third in 2009 with Team Penske.
“I’m really excited to be joining WTR,” said Briscoe, who’s driven with the No. 10 team five times previously, including Rolex 24 efforts in 2006, 2011 and 2012. “I’ve always had so much respect for the organization. They’ve been so successful and are one of the most committed teams in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. It’s an honor to join them as one of their full-time drivers.
“The Cadillac DPi is a fantastic machine and I can’t wait to drive it.”
Van der Zande, 33, co-drove with Jordan Taylor to a pair of victories and seven podium finishes the past two seasons, and also earned the 2017 Rolex 24 pole position in his first race with the team.
Taylor left after a seven-year run with the team that netted 19 victories and the 2013 and 2017 driver championships to join the factory Corvette Racing effort in the WeatherTech Championship’s GT Le Mans class.
“I am obviously very happy to be continuing with the team,” van der Zande said. “I think we’ve built up a good relationship over the past two seasons and it’ll be the third year in a row I’ll be driving for the same team, which is fantastic in terms of continuity. This team is all about continuity and repetition, doing things better and better every time you do them. That’s why there are so many people with this team who have been there for 10-plus years, some over 15 years. That’s also what makes this team good, makes it great.
“Obviously we’re working on having great success in 2020. I’m happy to continue, happy to move forward, and this definitely feels like my American home.”
Kobayashi, 33, returns to the team for the 2020 Rolex 24 after co-driving with Taylor, van der Zande and Formula One veteran Fernando Alonso to victory this past January, the team’s second win in the endurance marathon in three seasons.
He co-drove the No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1-class entry to second in the most recent World Endurance Championship standings and is back with that team full-time this season. Kobayashi was highly instrumental in WTR’s most-recent Rolex 24 victory, keeping the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R in the lead for 72 of his 87 laps behind the wheel.
It was his first career Rolex 24 outing.
“First of all, I want thank to Wayne Taylor Racing and Konica Minolta for giving me a chance to race at Rolex 24 hours for two years in a row,” Kobayashi said. “I had a great experience in winning with WTR and the Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi last year at Daytona, so I am really looking forward to go back there to try to win the race again. I know it is not easy to repeat the success the team had there last year but, with my 2019 teammate Renger and with very strong new teammates, I think we should be able to challenge for another win.
“Ryan and Scott are not only talented, but they also have had great success in other U.S. racing series, so I am really looking forward to working with them.”
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