Maximum score for Rinus VeeKay in Indy Lights at Laguna Seca
TeamNL driver Rinus VeeKay has finished the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season in the best possible way. At Laguna Seca the 19-year-old driver from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands claimed two pole positions, two commanding victories and the quickest lap times in both races. Out of 18 races this season the young Dutch talent scored six race wins and fourteen podium finishes. In the championship VeeKay finished second, 21 points short of the number one position.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California, was host to the final round of the 2019 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Championship leader Oliver Askew only had to start in both races to claim the title, so Rinus VeeKay focused on finishing the season in the best possible way. After a few laps it was loud and clear that the spectacular track with its famous Corkscrew corner suited VeeKay’s driving style very well. After only one practice session to get familiar with the challenging track, the TeamNL driver from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands, who turned 19 only a few days ago, claimed the pole position for both races. In the first qualifying session VeeKay was 0.6 seconds quicker than the number two qualifier, to claim the pole position in an exciting second session in the final lap.
Starting from pole position in race one, VeeKay was never seriously challenged throughout the 30-lap race. The Juncos Racing driver crossed the finish line almost ten seconds clear of the number two finisher and also claimed the quickest lap in the race, almost half a second clear of the number two. “Today was really about tire management, to start on new tires and stay quickest through the race. There was no grip and I was sliding around,” said a very happy VeeKay. With his fifth victory of the season, the TeamNL driver secured the runner-up position in the championship.
The second race of the weekend and final race of the season was almost a copy of race one. Starting from pole position VeeKay took the lead and never looked back. Using his push-to-pass button was the only way for Askew to keep in touch with the Juncos Racing driver. But after a few laps VeeKay was in a class of his own again, crossed the finish line more than five seconds clear of the number two and once again claimed the quickest lap of the race.
“I’m happy. This was all I could do this weekend. I knew Oliver had the championship, so I focused on doing the best I could, and that worked. It’s a tough track, especially when you only have one practice session, but this track rewards my style of driving. I’m happy to show the IndyCar team owners what I can do. Oliver is the champion, but I put myself into the spotlight again this weekend,” said a happy VeeKay.
VeeKay scored six race wins and fourteen podium finishes out of 18 Indy Lights races this season. In the last seven races of the season the TeamNL driver was on the podium every time. In the championship VeeKay claimed the second position, only 21 points short of champion Askew. In the three seasons he raced in the Road to Indy categories VeeKay claimed 16 race wins (one more than Askew) and 36 podium finished out of 48 races, a score rating of 75%.
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.