Cadillac held sway at the front of the field at the end of the first hour of the Daytona 24 Hours, with Fernando Alonso 14th after taking the start on his sportscar debut.
Action Express driver Filipe Albuquerque led the opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship ahead of two more Cadillac DPi-V.Rs.
The Portuguese had an advantage of 4.5 seconds over Spirit of Daytona driver Tristan Vautier as the race hit the 60-minutes mark.
Felipe Nasr was a couple of seconds back in third position in the sister Action Express entries.
Helio Castroneves had just taken fourth position from the pole-winning Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac.
Van der Zande led through the opening laps before the first round of pitstops, during which he fell behind Albuquerque.
The best of the Onroak Nissan DPis was seventh in the hands of Nicolas Lapierre, while the top Mazda held 12th place with Oliver Jarvis at the wheel.
Alonso was lying in 14th position in the best of the United Autosports Ligier-Gibson JSP217.
The McLaren Formula 1 driver jumped to 11th on the opening lap, before dropping toward the end of the stint.
Ford led the GT Le Mans class with the Joey Hand.
The Ganassi driver was more than 14 seconds up on the pair of Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs running nose to tail in the hands of Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin.
The GT Daytona class was led by the Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS in the hands of Jeffrey Schmidt, which moved to the front during the opening pitstop sequence.