Breaking news: VeeKay to make IndyCar debut in Portland
Indianapolis (Indiana, USA), July 19, 2019 – On August 7th Rinus VeeKay from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands will make his IndyCar debut. Only 18 years of age, the TeamNL driver is the youngest Dutchman in history to drive a race car from the NTT IndyCar Series, the American equivalent of the Formula 1. VeeKay will make his IndyCar debut on a test day at Portland. Several other teams from the NTT IndyCar Series will test there as well. The 18-year-old Dutchman will join Ed Carpenter Racing for the test.
TeamNL driver Rinus VeeKay was offered the test by Ed Carpenter Racing. The team contacted the 18-year-old Dutch racing talent and of course VeeKay didn’t hesitate one moment to accept this unique opportunity. The test day is on August 7th at Portland International Raceway (Oregon), the 1.964-mile 12-turn road course where VeeKay claimed the Indy Pro 2000 title last season. “I’m incredibly happy with the opportunity to test an IndyCar with Ed Carpenter Racing! It has always been my main goal and dream to drive an IndyCar and I will do my utmost best to show what I’m capable of! I want to thank Ed Carpenter for the opportunity and the trust!” said VeeKay about this unique opportunity. Ed Carpenter is also looking forward to the test: “We are excited to test Rinus at Portland on August 7th. The Indy Lights series has produced high level talent, and ECR has always looked at drivers coming out of that series. Rinus has had a very strong season up to this point, and we are excited to evaluate him at this upcoming test.”
VeeKay was invited thanks to the great results he scored in recent years. In 2017 the Dutchman chose the Road to Indy motorsport ladder. In his maiden season VeeKay finished as the runner up in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, stepped to the Pro Mazda Championship (Indy Pro 2000) to claim the title and the Mazda Scholarship. This season VeeKay stepped up to the highest level of the Road to Indy, the Indy Lights, and with three wins and seven podium finishes out of eleven races, VeeKay is the number two in the championship at the moment. VeeKay’s next step and ultimate goal is the NTT IndyCar Series, the premier level of open-wheel racing in America. The world famous Indianapolis 500 is the unchallenged highlight of the IndyCar season. Thanks to his good results, VeeKay is qualified for an IndyCar test licence, while a top three finish in the Indy Lights championship is sufficient to justify an IndyCar race licence.
Only 18 years of age, VeeKay is by far the youngest Dutchman to debut in IndyCars. His great predecessor is of course Arie Luyendyk, the Dutchman who won the Indy 500 twice. A great fact is that Luyendyk has been VeeKay’s mentor and coach for several years now.
VeeKay’s great performances attracted the attention of several IndyCar teams, and for Ed Carpenter Racing it was the reason to invite the young Dutch talent to join them for the test at Portland International Raceway. The driving force behind, and co-owner of Ed Carpenter Racing, is IndyCar racing driver Ed Carpenter. Carpenter is a real oval-track specialist who claimed the pole position for the Indianapolis 500 three times and has won three IndyCar races on ovals. Ed Jones and Spencer Pigot are the other two Ed Carpenter Racing drivers. Both drivers stepped up from the Road to Indy ladder where Pigot claimed the Indy Lights title in 2015 and Jones in 2016.
This season, Rinus VeeKay is supported by Jumbo, La Place, Mazda Motorsports USA, Oger, Gullwing Racing Insurance, The Challenge Sports & Health Club Curaçao and the TeamNL/KNAF Talent First program.