Great Result at Gateway!
Rinus VeeKay Continues Impressive Rookie Season at World Wide Technology Raceway
Having shown impressive speed throughout his rookie NTT INDYCAR Series season, Rinus VeeKay put in another superb display at World Wide Technology Raceway for Rounds 8 and 9 of the 2020 Championship; the Bommarito 500.
Returning to a track where the Sonax supported driver secured his Indy Pro 2000 Championship title back in 2018 with a dominant victory, VeeKay set about his work on the popular oval by qualifying 14th for the opening race on Saturday, followed by 18th for the Sunday spectacle.
Saturday afternoon brought about overcast conditions, and VeeKay wasted little time in moving forward, avoiding the carnage at the start and making a number of overtaking maneuvers to sit comfortably inside the top 10 at half distance. With his eyes firmly on the top 5, a caution period for weather came at an unfortunate time just after VeeKay had visited pit road. Not to be deterred, VeeKay once again kept his head down and charged at the re-start. Thanks to a combination of good work on pit road from the Ed Carpenter team and opportunistic driving from VeeKay, the youngest driver in the field recovered to finish in a hard earned sixth position.
Sunday and Round 9 of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR Series was held in warm and sunny conditions. Fresh from his strong performance on Saturday, VeeKay made an electric start yet again, advancing seven positions on the opening lap with some breathtaking passes on his competitors. The young Dutchman remained on the front foot in the early exchanges, and by adopting the strategy of pitting early to maximize clean air and fresh tires, he continued his march through the field and found himself running as high as third come half distance. As the final pit stops came into play, VeeKay emerged in fifth, but a brave move on Colton Herta around the outside of turn three ensured he crossed the line to claim a career best finish in fourth position. The fantastic haul of points also ensured that the Jumbo backed driver moved to the top of the Rookie standings ahead of his nearest challenger, Alex Palou.
"It was a great race, one of the best races I have ever driven!" an ecstatic VeeKay said at the conclusion of Sunday's race. "Yesterday, I started 14th and finished 6th so today, starting 18th, I was aiming for a Top 10 finish. I had an amazing first lap, got around a lot of guys. The strategy was brilliant, so shout out to my team for making this possible! Those last few laps were very tough, everyone was all over the place. Just missed out on the podium but I don't care about that right now, P4 was the best I could do!"
VeeKay, who also enjoys support from Autogeek, Jumbo, La Place, KNAF TeamNL and Basic-Fit, has the opportunity to carry this momentum forward with the next scheduled rounds of the championship slated for the Harvest Grand Prix on the IMS Grand Prix circuit, October 2 and 3. Further schedule announcements are also expected to be announced in the near future.