Rinus VeeKay completes impressive first IndyCar test in Portland
Young Dutchman Rinus VeeKay completed his first-ever NTT IndyCar Series test yesterday at Portland International Raceway with seven-time IndyCar winning team, Ed Carpenter Racing aboard the No. 20 Chevrolet.
“I’m very happy with how the test went,” said VeeKay. “We started off pretty well with a great first run and I felt very comfortable during the first lap. Throughout the day, the team and I worked very well to end up with a great car. It has been an amazing opportunity to finally drive an Indy car, especially with Ed Carpenter Racing. I don’t know what the future brings, but today was very positive. The speed was good and I was in between the big names in the series, which is amazing for a first day. I cannot wait to drive an Indy car for the rest of my life!”
The 18-year-old Mazda Motorsports Scholarship driver completed 144 total laps around the 1.9-mile, 12-turn circuit with competitive lap times throughout the morning and afternoon sessions. His pace and consistency immediately impressed team owner and driver, Ed Carpenter.
“Rinus made a great impression for his first day in an Indy car,” said three-time Indianapolis 500 pole-winner and ECR team owner, Ed Carpenter. “We were able to complete over 140 laps and he showed that he has the skill and potential to be competing at the highest level of open wheel racing. I feel that Rinus has all of the tools to be competing in the NTT IndyCar Series very soon. As we have seen with many drivers coming out of Indy Lights, he has been well prepared for a smooth transition to an Indy car.”
The seat time at Portland International Raceway is valuable for the Team Netherlands/KNAF Talent rookie, as the Indy Lights Championship heads back to the Pacific Northwest on Labor Day weekend for the penultimate round of the season.
The next round of the 2019 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series features one of the most thrilling venues on the calendar, the 1.25-mile oval at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Ill. The twilight race on Saturday night will play a pivotal role in the 2019 Championship fight. VeeKay is second in the championship, just 45 points behind the leader, Oliver Askew.
On-track action from WWT Raceway begins on Friday, August 23 with practice and single-car qualifying in the afternoon. The 75-lap feature event takes place on Saturday, August 24 at 4:25 p.m. EDT and will be shown live on NBC Sports Gold as well as RoadToIndy.TV for international viewers.