Rinus VeeKay claims double BOSS Grand Prix podium at Paul Ricard
After his BOSS Grand Prix debut at the Jumbo Family Days driven by Max Verstappen, driving a powerful GP2 car, Rinus VeeKay wanted to gain more experience with the car’s high downforce levels and excessive power. He was duly given an opportunity at the Paul Ricard circuit where the KNAF Talent First Driver showed he was in full control of the 700 bhp car, taking second in qualifying and finishing second in both races, only led by Ingo Gerstl’s fast Toro Rosso Formula 1 car. In the process, he also beat Zandvoort double race winner Johann Ledermair comfortably.
As the next USF2000 race at Road America was only scheduled in the weekend of 24th and 25th June, Rinus VeeKay had the opportunity to travel to the beautiful Paul Ricard circuit where BOSS Grand Prix held its third event of the season. This gave the youngster an excellent opportunity to gain experience in the powerful Jumbo GP2 car. After the technical mishaps on the second day of the Max Verstappen fan event at Zandvoort where the young KTF driver was eager to show his speed to the 110,000 visitors, the failing V8 engine was repaired by Judd.
In Saturday morning qualifying, VeeKay clocked the second fastest time in a field of 18 Big Open Single Seaters, setting a time of 1:48.308. Only Ingo Gerstl’s 930 bhp Toro Rosso STR1 F1 was faster. Johann Ledermair, double winner at Zandvoort, needed over 1.2 seconds more to complete a lap of the French circuit.
Having taken a rolling start for the first 20-minute race, VeeKay was well away, keeping his second position and following the Toro Rosso in the early stages. The KNAF Talent First driver set very consistent lap times, but had to let the fast Toro Rosso get away by one second a lap. As Ledermair couldn't follow the young Dutchman’s pace in his GP2, he saw VeeKay ease away every lap. After ten laps VeeKay finished second in the knowledge that this was the best possible result.
The second race on Sunday would be for 25 minutes and ran a similar course. Again, the 16-year-old driver had a good start but had to let Gerstl go while at the same time he was much faster than the other BOSS drivers. The excitement for VeeKay mainly came from catching up with lapped opponents. The Dutchman succeeded in passing each of these without getting into trouble. After another flawless race VeeKay finished second behind Gerstl and, like in the first race, held a ten-second margin on Ledermair.
After his two adventures in the 700 bhp GP2 car, Rinus VeeKay will now once more focus on his career in the American Mazda Road to Indy. In less than two weeks, the beautiful Road America race track will be the scene of the next race. VeeKay will defend his second position in the USF2000 standings and, if possible, reduce Oliver Askew’s lead in the championship.