Terrible pitstops ruin VeeKays Indy Road Course weekend

Terrible pitstops ruin VeeKays Indy Road Course weekend


His pace would have brought him a top-ten finish, but once again it was not enough for Rinus van Kalmthout, as poor pitstops saw the 23-year-old Dutchman’s hope go up in smoke. In the end, ‘VeeKay’ finished the Sonsio Grand Prix in 26th.


After a challenging 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, VeeKay was able to look ahead with his Ed Carpenter Racing #21 Chevrolet. An eighth-place finish at St Petersburg was followed by third on the grid at The Thermal Club, with the Dutchman also showing strong pace at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Now all he needs is that one push from Lady Luck – who doesn’t seem to have found him yet.



In the fourth round of the IndyCar season taking place on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course on Saturday, VeeKay was able to turn his 12th position into 10th in the opening laps, despite some strong opposition in the first combination of corners. The 23-year-old's green and black car easily ran with the leaders and after an excellent first stint VeeKay swapped his soft tyres for the hard compound. It was nothing short of a miracle that the first stint was such a success, as VeeKay’s machine had been damaged in the starting frenzy, following a nudge from his rival Fittipaldi that caused the floor and front wing to no longer function properly.


The race took a turn for the worse when VeeKay came in for his second pitstop on lap 30 of the 85-lap race. An error in fitting the fresh rubber meant that the Dutchman was sent out with the wrong tyres, so at the next pitstop, VeeKay sat idle for no less than 25 seconds. At this point, any chance of a good result was a distant spot on the horizon.


One-time IndyCar race winner VeeKay, who enjoyed his finest IndyCar moment exactly three years ago when he won a race on this very same circuit, could do nothing but clock strong laptimes and hope for a bizarre sequence of events but that did not happen. As a result, the Sonsio Grand Prix proved a test of character for the young Dutchman, who crossed the line in 26th place. The race was won by Ganassi driver Alex Palou.


“I have no words for the way our race went,” said a disappointed VeeKay. “It all went from bad to worse, so all I could do was finish the race. I will now focus on the upcoming Indianapolis 500 and hope that we can get a good result there. In any case, it won’t be for a lack of commitment, because I am more than ready for it,” the Dutchman concluded.



The 2024 NTT IndyCar Series season continues with its blue-riband event – the Indianapolis 500. Practice for the most important race of the year begins next week, with qualifying taking place this weekend. The 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is scheduled for Sunday 26th May and will start around 18:30 Dutch time.