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VISIT FLORIDA RACING BOUND FOR BELLE ISLE

EVENT: Round 5 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, 100-minute race

TRACK: Located on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan, the temporary street circuit winds through Belle Isle Park and has 13 corners at 2.34-miles in length.

DRIVER LINE-UP: Marc Goossens (Belgium), Renger van der Zande (Netherlands)

TEAM HISTORY AT BELLE ISLE: VISIT FLORIDA Racing has made five starts through the streets of Belle Isle with three top-five results including a podium finish of second in 2014. The team has qualified among the top-five in all but one event and has started on the front row twice – with a pole position in 2014.

2012: Started 6th Finished 9th (Michael Valiante, Richard Westbrook)
2013: Started 5th Finished 5th (Ricky Taylor, Richard Westbrook)
2014: Started 1st Finished 2nd (Michael Valiante, Richard Westbrook)
2015: Started 3rd Finished 5th (Michael Valiante, Richard Westbrook)
2016: Started 2nd Finished 7th (Marc Goossens, Ryan Dalziel)

DEFENDING RACE CHAMPION VAN DER ZANDE: Renger van der Zande has a winning record at Belle Isle. He has entered two races at the track in the PC category with Starworks Motorsport and won both times. van der Zande will look to continue that winning streak this week with VISIT FLORIDA Racing.

VAN DER ZANDE – 24 HOURS OF NURBURGRING: Last weekend, Renger van der Zande competed in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring with Haribo Racing in a Mercedes AMG GT3. He and his team finished ninth in the event.

NEW IN 2017: With all-new regulations for the top Prototype class in 2017, VISIT FLORIDA Racing fields a Gibson-powered Riley Mk. 30. The Gibson engine is a 4.2-liter V8, and is the specification engine for all competitors in the World Endurance Championship LMP2 category. Riley Technologies has an unparalleled history in the sport, and the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona marked the competition debut for the Mk. 30.

CAR SPECS: 
Chassis – Multimatic / Riley Carbon Fiber semi stressed engine
Safety equipment – Crushable Nose box, 6 point safety harness, Onboard fire suppression system, Air conditioned cockpit for driver safety and comfort.
Transmission – X-Trac six-speed sequential, paddle operated rear wheel drive.

MICHAEL HARVEY: Prior to the 2017 season, VISIT FLORIDA Racing added Michael Harvey to the team as Director of Race Operations. Harvey, who has a long and varied range of experience in the sport, most recently managed the competition efforts for Fall-Line Motorsports’ multiple-championship winning programs in IMSA and SCCA competition as well as serving as a Series Director for the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA series.

NEW PARTNERS FOR 2017: In addition to longtime partner VISIT FLORIDA, VISIT FLORIDA Racing has partnered with: Speed Chills, iRacing, Motegi Racing, Riley Technologies, Go Puck, GoPro, Burt & Scheld, Under Armour, and Whelen.

DRIVER QUOTES:

MARC GOOSSENS: “Last year was my first visit to the Belle Isle street course. I love street circuits and last year I immediately liked the Belle Isle track. We had a reasonable pace in qualifying but unfortunately we had a big wreck during the race. I clipped a tire wall and after that I lost my rear wing which resulted in a big off two corners later. Hopefully we can continue our hard work and make progress in both performance and reliability. We are more than ready for a good result at Detroit!”

RENGER VAN DER ZANDE: “Belle Isle is a track that I love to go to – I won there the last two times I’ve been there in LMPC. It is very bumpy and challenging. I love street tracks and I think that it’s a place where the driver can make a bit of a difference rather than at tracks where there is a lot of run off. We’re still developing and still learning this car and I think we’ve been able to get the most out of the equipment that we’ve had. I have a feeling somehow that the Belle Isle street circuit might fit our car best. We have a top speed issue at the moment and at Detroit we have only one big straight so with a lot of corners we might be okay. I think strategy will be important – like always, the street tracks create a lot of chaos so we have to make the right calls. We are aiming for another podium so let’s give it a go – I’m looking forward to it!”

Source. Sunday Group

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