Renger van der Zande completes testing line-up
Dutch ace to enjoy maiden F2 run in Portimão this week
Renger van der Zande will contest the second day of Formula Two testing in Portimão, Portugal on Saturday (12 December), completing the 22-strong field of drivers.
The highly rated Dutchman joins F2 testing after a successful 2009 campaign in the British F3 International Series. He was drafted in by Hitech Racing to compete in a number of rounds during the year and impressed by taking three wins and nine podiums from 16 races on his way to finishing third overall despite not completing the season. He also won in F3 Euro Series and took a strong seventh place finish in the Macau Grand Prix – the top finish by a driver from a British F3 team.
The 23-year-old has a wealth of speed and experience, and has represented his nation in A1GP as well as contesting one round of the 2008/09 GP2 Asia Series. He also finished fourth overall in the 2008 F3 Euro Series after scoring two wins and a total of five podium finishes, and has previously won the Formula Renault 2.0 series in his native Netherlands in 2005.
Van der Zande admitted he was excited to be joining the F2 test, and also revealed he is considering competing in the championship next year – particularly given the boost it provided this year to Andy Soucek’s career.
"I have followed Formula Two closely during 2009," he explained. "Jonathan Palmer has a reputation for doing things right and that is one of the reasons why I am really excited about testing the car this week.
"When you look at what the championship has done for Andy Soucek, you can see that it is a great way to raise your profile and show F1 teams what you are capable of. For these reasons, I have to be extremely interested in the possibility of running in Formula Two next year."
The Dutchman is the latest major name to join the final F2 test of 2009 following the recent confirmation of McLaren Autosport BRDC Award Dean Smith, American star Jonathan Summerton and Superleague racer Duncan Tappy.
2009 F2 drivers Kazim Vasiliauskas, Alex Brundle, Jolyon Palmer, Jack Clarke and Tristan Vautier will also be in action, whilst reigning champion Andy Soucek is running on both days as he continues to assist with developing the Williams JPH1 for the 2010 season.
Official FIA Formula Two test, Portimão – Line-up
1. Dean Smith (Formula Renault UK Champion)
2. Duncan Tappy (Superleague Formula)
3. Jonathan Summerton (Formula Atlantic) (12 December)
4. Renger van der Zande (British F3) (12 December)
5. Andy Soucek (FIA Formula Two Champion)
6. Kazim Vasiliauskas (FIA Formula Two) (11 December)
7. Mihai Marinescu (Formula Renault 3.5) (12 December)
8. Ricardo Teixeira (GP2)
9. Kelvin Snoeks (International Formula Master) (11 December)
10. Nico Müller (Swiss Formula Renault 2.0 Champion) (11 December)
11. Alex Brundle (FIA Formula Two)
12. Benjamin Bailly (Formul’Academy Euro Series)
13. Ivan Samarin (Formula 3 Russia)
14. Tristan Vautier (Formula Palmer Audi and FIA Formula Two) (12 December)
15. Benjamin Lariche (Formula Renault 2.0 WEC)
16. Jolyon Palmer (FIA Formula Two)
17. Jack Clarke (FIA Formula Two)
18. Ramón Piñeiro (Formula BMW Europe)
19. José Alonso Liste (Formula Palmer Audi) (11 December)
20. Paul Rees (Formula Palmer Audi) (11 December)
21. Kevin Mirocha (Formula 3 Euro Series) (12 December)
22. Johan Jokinen (Formula 3 Euro Series)
The second official FIA Formula Two test of the winter will commence in Portimão, Portugal on Friday 11 December, with Renger van der Zande set to test on the second day (12 December). Formulatwo.com will bring you all the latest news and reports throughout the two days.