Dominant victory and championship lead for Rinus VeeKay at Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit
TeamNL driver Rinus VeeKay scored a dominant victory in the second race of the third round of the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. At the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit the 18-year-old driver from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands impressed with a pole position, leading the race from start to finish and recording the quickest lap time of the race. In the first race of the weekend VeeKay finished in third position, scoring a podium position as well. “That win in the second race felt really great. It was great that we were able to show the right pace again,” said VeeKay, who is also the new leader in the championship standing after six races.
In the month of May, Indianapolis is the midpoint of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. At the end of this month the world famous 2.5-mile Indy oval track will host a round of this Road to Indy category. But first the drivers had round three of the championship at the also challenging Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit, the 2.439-mile 14-turn road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The three test sessions prior to the official qualifying didn’t go according to plan for Rinus VeeKay. Due to a broken fuel pump the 18-year old Dutchman lost valuable track time. But still, the TeamNL driver was in the top three on the time sheets. In qualifying VeeKay once again proved his speed by claiming the second qualifying position, only 0.02 seconds short of the pole position. “It lasted until the final lap that the tires had the right temperature, otherwise an even quicker lap time would have been possible,” said VeeKay.
Starting from second position on the grid, the Juncos Racing driver suffered severe wheelspin at the start and dropped back into the fourth position. After a great overtaking maneuvre on the sixth lap, VeeKay was back in third position and seemed to be able to close the gap to the driver in second position. But at the halfway point of the 30-lap race the young Dutchman had to accept that the two leaders increased the gap. In the final stage of the race VeeKay was able to improve his lap times again, but third position was the best he was able to achieve. “Given how cold it was today, I knew there was a chance for wheelspin, and sure enough I had wheelspin. I went back to third, without having the pace to get to the leaders,” said a disappointed VeeKay.
But VeeKay didn’t have to wait very long for his revenge. In a very exciting qualifying for race two, the TeamNL driver claimed the pole position. After a good start, the young Dutchman was only challenged in the first couple of corners. From that moment on VeeKay was in a class of his own, dominating the race to claim the victory after 35 laps with a margin of 6.8 seconds. The Juncos Racing driver improved his own quickest lap time several times during the race, to prove his dominance with claiming the quickest lap time again in the final lap of the race. With his win, VeeKay is also the new leader in the championship standing by one point after six races. “It was a great race. My Juncos Racing prepared car was very good now from start to finish. I’m really happy that we could show the right pace again today. This win makes this a great weekend! And although its only by one point, it’s always good to go to the next race leading the championship,” said a happy VeeKay.
His win at the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit was VeeKay’s second victory of the season and his fourth podium finish out of six races in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The next round of the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires is the Freedom 100 at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 24th .
This season, Rinus VeeKay is supported by Jumbo, La Place, Mazda Motorsports USA and the TeamNL/KNAF Talent First program.
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