Rinus VeeKay and Ed Carpenter Racing reach multi year agreement to continue in the NTT IndyCar Series
Rinus 'VeeKay' van Kalmthout will remain with Ed Carpenter Racing on the back a multi-year deal that will see the 21-year-old Dutchman also race the #21 Chevrolet during the 2023 NTT INDYCAR Series season.
VeeKay, who has been driving for Ed Carpenter Racing since his debut in America's top open-wheel racing series, is currently in his third season in the NTT INDYCAR Series. So far, the Fort Lauderdale resident has managed to impress, winning the Rookie of the Year award in his 2020 debut season and scoring his first IndyCar victory at the 2021 GMR Grand Prix. VeeKay has made it to the podium four times already while having taken pole position twice. VeeKay has also been the fastest Chevrolet driver in qualifying in each of his three appearances at the prestigious Indianapolis 500. On two occasions, the Dutchman reached the front row of the grid for the legendary event.
VeeKay has represented Ed Carpenter Racing since his graduation from Indy Lights racing. The Indianapolis-based team of driver and team owner Ed Carpenter gave the talented twentysomething his first opportunity to test in an IndyCar car in the late summer of 2019 before offering him a contract for the following season. Since then, VeeKay has appeared at the start of an IndyCar race 42 times.
The previous agreement between Ed Carpenter Racing and Rinus VeeKay expired at the end of the current IndyCar season and would have freed up the Dutch driver to explore his options as a free agent from August 1. However, VeeKay opted for continuity by staying with the team that allowed him to clock his very first IndyCar miles.
“I'm very happy to be continuing at Ed Carpenter Racing”, VeeKay stated from Nashville, where he will race this weekend. "It’s the best choice to stay with ECR, I feel good about it. With the current season still running, it’s nice to have security. I assume that this new commitment will also give the ECR staff a boost – from the engineers to the mechanics. I will continue to build something beautiful with them!”
VeeKay would like to take the opportunity to thank a few key people. “With the support of Todd Ault and his BitNile company, we can take steps forward. I represent the colours of the Bitcoin Racing Team this year and am extremely grateful to be driving my one-of-a-kind orange car. I am grateful to Ed Carpenter, Tony George and Stuart Reed for the opportunity to continue my IndyCar career in the familiar environment of ECR.”
Team owner and namesake Ed Carpenter is delighted with VeeKay’s contract extension. “I am so happy to be able to extend our relationship with Rinus, he is an extremely versatile and talented driver. It has been and remains our hope to build our team to new heights with Rinus helping lead the charge. Our goals and expectations are to win races and to compete for championships. With Rinus’s growth and the support from BitNile and Todd Ault, we are primed for success.”
Rinus VeeKay came to the United States in 2017 at the age of 16 to race in the USF2000 series, grabbing second place in the final standings as a rookie thanks to 12 podium finishes in 14 races, including three wins. A year later, in 2018, VeeKay won the Indy Pro 2000 title as a rookie. With seven victories (five of them in a row) and a total of ten podium finishes, the Dutchman easily decided the championship in his favour. In 2019, VeeKay raced in the Indy Lights series, taking second place as a rookie while winning six races. After winning at the highest level, on the Road Course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2021, VeeKay became the first driver to win at least one race in each of the four open-wheel series in the United States.
VeeKay and Ed Carpenter Racing will enter the fourth year of their partnership in 2023, making him the longest-serving full time driver in the team’s 11-year history.
The 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series continues this weekend with the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix at the Nashville Street Circuit. This will be followed by three more races at Gateway Oval and the road courses of Portland and Laguna Seca. The calendar for the 2023 NTT INDYCAR Series season is unknown as yet.