Rinus VeeKay finally gets down to racing action at MRF Challenge in Dubai
In the second round of the Indian MRF Challenge, Rinus VeeKay completed four excellent races at the Dubai circuit. During qualifying he struggled with oversteer, resulting in eighth position on the grid for the first race. In the races, however, VeeKay battled his way back to the front. In the final race the youngster started from second, then at one time even took the lead to eventually pass the finish line in third, after numerous fights. Unfortunately, he was penalised due to a jump start and was classified eighth. "I'm glad I was able to finally race after all the technical problems in Bahrain", the KNAF Talent First driver said, still satisfied with his weekend.
Rinus VeeKay takes part in the MRF Challenge on the advice of MP Motorsport's team manager Sander Dorsman, with the aim of accumulating additional single-seater experience.and giving him an optimal preparation for his first full racing season in USF2000 next year. The MRF Challenge uses Dallara Formula 3 cars that are prepared and run by the organisers.
During the first of four events, on the Formula 1 circuit in Bahrain, VeeKay was knocked out by a defective gearbox, which kept him from getting down to racing action. The 16-year-old driver was very eager to race during the second round in Dubai and clock as many racing miles as possible. VeeKay qualified eighth in a field with many famous drivers and wasn’t satisfied with that. "The car had a lot of oversteer, so I was unable to push."
In the race the car felt better, the young Dutchman having a magnificent tussle with Australian Dylan Young. VeeKay finished ninth in the first race and decided to race on used tyres in the second race later in the day, in order to save two new sets for races 3 and 4. In the second race the KTF driver finished eighth after managing to outwit Dylan Young.
In the third race VeeKay started eighth, due to his second-best qualifying time. With a good start he picked up a spot immediately, but then half of the race distance the field proceeded behind the safety car after an on-track incident. With only four laps to go, the drivers were finally released and VeeKay was able to pass two opponents. Finishing fifth meant that he was allowed to start from second place in the fourth and final race, due to the reverse grid for the top six.
Rinus VeeKay preserved the best for last. At the start, he immediately took the lead and hun on to it for two laps. German Formula 4 champion Joey Mawson, however, then passed him on the straight. VeeKay regained the lead a moment later but on the next lap Mawson passed him at the same place. Then, German F4 drivers Felipe Drugovich and Mick Schumacher also managed to pass VeeKay. Schumacher, however, spun off when he was hit by a puncture and so the single Dutchman in the MRF Challenge crossed the finish line in third.
After the race VeeKay received a ten-second penalty for having jumped the start, dropping him back to eighth. "It's a pity of course, but my own fault. The starting procedure took a long time and I obviously took my foot of the clutch too early", concluded VeeKay. "But I finally clocked a lot of racing miles and had great fights, so I've learned a lot. That to me was the main objective now, although it's very nice to have raced to the podium," said Rinus VeeKay, smilingly.
With these races in Dubai Rinus VeeKay has closed the curtain on 2016. On 28 and 29 January, the third round of the MRF Challenge will take place on the Buddh International Circuit Delhi in India, designed by Hermann Tilke.