Double podium for KTF-talent Rinus VeeKay in Toronto
KNAF Talent First car racing talent Rinus Veekay scored a great second and third position in the sixth round of the Cooper Tires USF2000 series in Toronto. It seems like the type of track on which he has to race doesn’t matter at all for the 16-year-old driver from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands, be it a traditional road course, an oval, or a street circuit like Toronto, as the Pabst Racing driver has now scored nine podium finishes out of eleven races. “It was a great weekend. The runner-up position in the second race was a tough one, but I scored very important points for the championship,” said the happy KTF driver. VeeKay reduced the gap to the championship leader to only 18 points.
One week after the race at the high speed oval in Iowa, the street circuit of Toronto was host to round six of the Cooper Tires USF2000 series. The drivers of ‘the first category on the Road to Indy’ had only 30 minutes to get familiar with the Canadian track. KNAF Talent First car racing talent Rinus VeeKay showed his adaptability by recording the fourth time in practice, to secure the third position in qualifying for race number one, only one tenth of a second short of the pole position. In qualifying for race number two, the Pabst Racing driver was on the top spot with only a few minutes left, but had to reduce speed in his flying lap for a caution and couldn’t improve his time anymore. Four other drivers had one lap left and could improve on their earlier performance and went quicker than the so far best lap time of the 16-year-old driver from Hoofddorp. “The Streets of Toronto is a difficult track. It’s very bumpy and there are all different types of asphalt. Overtaking will be difficult and more tricky then in St. Petersburg where we raced earlier this season,” said VeeKay.
VeeKay had a good start in race number one and stayed in the slipstream of the number two, but had to defend his position as well. As a result of this battle, VeeKay lost three seconds to the numbers one and two in the race. The KTF driver started a string of extremely quick laps, recorded the fastest lap of the race and reset the official track record, but came 1.3 seconds short of the runner-up position to finish third. With the fastest lap of the race, the Dutch racing talent scored one extra point in the championship.
Starting from the fifth position, a podium finish in race number two seemed almost impossible. But VeeKay drove a very clever race. While the top three drivers had a fierce battle for the lead, VeeKay stayed in the slipstream of the number four.
In the eighth lap the inevitable happened as the numbers one and two touched each other and also took out Oliver Askew, the leader in the championship. VeeKay avoided the chaos and suddenly was in second position. When the race was restarted from behind the safety car, the KTF driver had a tough fight to defend his second position.
As a result of this battle, the leader had a gap of almost two seconds to the Pabst Racing driver. Just like he did in the first race, VeeKay started a string of extremely quick laps, reset the fastest lap time three times and closed the gap to 0.6 seconds at the finish line, to finish second.
“I was hit at the start of the race and damaged two wheels and the front wing. At the restart there was some wheel-banging, but I could hold my second position. The gap to the leader was a bit too much, but I think the runner-up position was the best I could do today,” said VeeKay after another podium finish. Because Askew didn’t finish and VeeKay scored an extra point for the fastest lap, the KTF driver reduced the gap to the leader to 18 points.
This season, Rinus VeeKay is supported by Jumbo Supermarkets, Total, Quick sports and leisure wear and the Dutch KNAF Talent First program.