Rinus VeeKay Completes Two-Day Indy Lights Test at Circuit of The Americas
Rinus VeeKay kicked off his 2019 Indy Lights campaign with a two-day open test at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. The 18-year-old Mazda Motorsports scholarship driver, driving the IL-15 for Juncos Racing sponsored by JUMBO, La Place and KNAF Talent First, is set to begin the third and final step on the Road To Indy presented by Cooper Tires.
Juncos Racing and VeeKay were visiting the circuit for the first time, with the official test comprising of ten talented drivers in what is shaping up to be an extremely competitive field. The test proved to be a solid outing for VeeKay and Juncos Racing as he ended up third overall at the conclusion of the test, completing a total of 87 laps across the three sessions.
VeeKay started off strong, placing inside the top-five in the first test session as teams and drivers acclimated themselves to the venue. In the second session, a small geometry issue provided a minor set-back, thus making the cool, low grip conditions a challenge, hurting VeeKay’s overall speed. The issue was rectified with the focus then being on maximizing the final session of the test on Wednesday morning.
“Yesterday we had some small issues that we found out after the two sessions,” said VeeKay. “We were working from behind today, but I’m happy with the speed from the car and how it was around the circuit.”
The final test session saw an intensely close field at the top of the time sheets, with the top four covered by a little over a tenth of a second. VeeKay clocked the third fastest time of the session, sandwiching the Andretti Autosport drivers and once again confirming that the 2019 Indy Lights season will be very competitive.
“I’m quite happy with how we ended the two-day test at Circuit of The Americas,” stated VeeKay. “We ended up third overall and only about a tenth [of a second] off the top time. I think heading into Homestead [testing on March 4] and the opening weekend in St. Petersburg we’ll be very competitive and challenge for race wins.”
Fellow Dutchman and IndyCar legend and mentor, Arie Luyendyk, has high hopes for VeeKay after seeing his talents the past several years on the Road To Indy; “I can’t wait to see another Dutchman win the Indianapolis 500,” said Luyendyk.
VeeKay’s sights are now firmly set on the start of the 2019 Indy Lights season with the final pre-season test taking place at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 4 ahead of the opening rounds on the streets of St. Petersburg. Before all of that, however, VeeKay will return to Malaysia and the Sepang International Circuit for Rounds 7-9 of the FIA Asian F3 Winter Championship, February 22-24. VeeKay holds a 29-point advantage at the top of the standings heading into the final weekend of competition.