Mechanical failure keeps VeeKay from claiming top ten result at Road America

Mechanical failure keeps VeeKay from claiming top ten result at Road America



Rinus ‘VeeKay’ van Kalmthout failed to put a strong result on the board when mechanical failure prevented him from finishing high up in the seventh round of the 2024 NTT IndyCar Series at Road America. The 23-year-old Dutchman had been in contention for a top spot.



Following a challenging qualifying session in which VeeKay donned the blue and white of sponsor Direct Supply at the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America, the talented twentysomething had to settle for 17th on the grid, but he started the race at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, with the bit between his teeth. With many of his rivals dropping back after the first corner, VeeKay moved from 17th to 13th within a few hundred yards.


From there, his nose pointed in a straight line to the front, as the #21 Direct Supply Chevrolet stormed forward with VeeKay making good use of the soft Firestone tyre. Flexing his muscle, the Dutchman wrestled his way past Christian Lundgaard's car, cleverly avoiding a counter attack from his rival, so by the time VeeKay came in for his first pit stop on lap 17 of 55 scheduled laps, he was up into an extremely decent ninth position.


During his second stint VeeKay was able to keep up with the quick runners up front, as the blue and white Ed Carpenter Racing car dashed past Romain Grosjean and multiple champion Scott Dixon to take seventh place just before his second pitstop. That stop, however, would be a bit of a setback for VeeKay, as the Dutchman lost time compared to his rivals when changing tyres and refuelling.


Moments later, the Dutchman reported a steering issue and was immediately called in for a third pitstop. Upon investigation it was found that a bolt had sheered on the left front suspension of VeeKay's #21 Direct Supply Chevrolet. After an extremely long stop of no less than two full laps, VeeKay was able to continue on his way, albeit at a distance and out of contention for a good result.


All that remained was to finish the race, which VeeKay did, two laps down in 24th place. The race at Road America was won by Penske driver Will Power, who along with teammates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin completed a Penske podium.



“A tough race,” commented VeeKay from Wisconsin. “The start of the race was very good. I was running comfortably in the top ten and was able to make some nice moves. Unfortunately, during the race a suspension bolt came loose and I had to stop to get it fixed. That cost me a lot of time and the opportunity for a good result.”


“As for myself, I am happy with this race,” said the Dutchman. “I attacked from the start and worked my way up to the front. I think a top-ten result would have been possible without the mechanical failure. Unfortunately that was not the case at Road America.”


"Every cloud has a silver lining and we took some positive points out of the weekend in Wisconsin. This will give us confidence for the next race at Laguna Seca. I am really looking forward to it,” VeeKay concluded.


After a busy month, VeeKay and his NTT IndyCar Series rivals will be taking a break. Even though there will be another test session with the new hybrid components that will be introduced soon, the next race is ‘only’ two weeks away. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at the Laguna Seca circuit is scheduled for Sunday 23rd June, with the race starting around midnight (Sunday to Monday) Dutch time.