Renger Van Der Zande took the win in today’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Laguna Seca in the best way possible: by recreating one of the most insane passes ever pulled off in motorsport.
Van Der Zande’s N0. 90 Visit Florida Racing Ligier was coming up behind Dane Cameron in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac into the Corkscrew—a combination of corners that’s fun to watch, but generally not known for passing. Van Der Zande went for it anyway, dropping down into the inside of Cameron at the top of the Corkscrew to get the lead in the race’s penultimate lap.
It’s easy to compare this to Alex Zanardi’s infamous 1996 CART pass, where Zanardi chucked it down the inside of Bryan Herta at the Corkscrew to take the win:
Zanardi’s pass was a tad messier, though, as he had to cut the corner at the bottom of the Corkscrew. Still, it’s not known as “The Pass” for nothing.
Look, if you want to have the pass of the year, recreating The Pass is a solid way to do it. I think we just watched the greatest pass of 2017.
This is the Visit Florida Racing team’s first win of 2017, the first win in the WTSC for an international LMP2-spec car under this year’s revised Prototype-class regulations, and and Van Der Zande’s first overall win in the series.
Today’s race also ended with an insane finish for the GTLM class, where a drag race ensued between the No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM and the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari for the win. The BMW held onto their lead by a mere 0.152 seconds when the checkered flag dropped.
Meanwhile in GTD, the leading cars all but had to coast their way in through the finish line, with Alessandro Balzan’s No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 slowing dramatically on the final lap but still staying just far enough ahead of the also-slowing No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 to keep his lead.
But nothing this year can possibly top an even neater executed recreation of The Pass. Pass of the year? Possibly the pass of the century.