KTF-talent Rinus VeeKay runner-up in oval debut at Iowa Speedway
KNAF Talent First car racing talent Rinus Veekay has made an impressive debut at the traditional American oval track by finishing runner-up at the Iowa Speedway. The 16-year-old driver from Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, started the ninth race of the Cooper Tires USF2000 series from third position, claiming the second position in the 45th lap of the race with an impressive overtaking manoeuvre. The Dutch Pabst Racing driver reduced the gap to the leader to 3.8 seconds, but couldn’t get closer than that and crossed the finish line in second position.
The American ‘Indycar’ made their name with races on oval tracks, and being the first step on the Road to Indy, an oval track had to be on the calendar of the Cooper Tires USF2000 series. Iowa Speedway, a 0.875-mile oval where USF2000 cars reach an average speed of 133 mph, was host of round five and race number nine of the Cooper Tires USF2000 series.
After a street circuit and traditional race tracks, KNAF Talent First car racing talent Rinus VeeKay felt comfortable on the oval as well. In the test and practice session the 16-year-old driver from Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, claimed the third position, recording lap times of 24 seconds. “I had some problems with over steer. For a better car control you prefer under steer on an oval. Racing on an oval is really great and you definitely must have the guts to do this. It’s totally different from racing on traditional tracks. You can’t race full throttle here and you have to lift a bit. You also have to stay a little bit away from the wall, because when you touch it, your race is over. Slip streaming is possible at this track, but with the bumps, there is only one perfect race line. That makes it difficult for overtaking,” said VeeKay.
There is a special procedure for qualifying on an oval track. The drivers do their timed laps one by one and after a warming up lap, the total time of the next two laps is decisive for the starting order. VeeKay was the tenth driver to appear on track and secured the third starting position, a good starting point for the race. But still, the young Dutch driver knew he could have done better as he had some problems with over steer again.
With temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius it was extremely hot in Iowa on race day. Shortly before the start of the race VeeKay had a meeting with Indycar heroes Roberto Moreno and Arie Luyendyk and got some tips and tricks from these two oval track specialists.
VeeKay had a good start and together with the numbers one and two in the race he was able to drive away from the rest of the field. The KTF-talent drove a flawless race with lap times within one tenth of a second of each other. In the 45th lap of the 60-lap race, VeeKay made a great overtaking manoeuvre and claimed the second position. In the next 15 laps, the Pabst Racing driver closed the gap to the leader from 5.1 to 3.8 seconds, but didn’t come close enough to challenge the leader. With his runner-up position VeeKay strengthened his second position in the championship standings after nine races.