Rinus VeeKay selected by Ed Carpenter Racing to contest full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season
Next season, at only 19 years of age, Rinus VeeKay from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands will become the youngest Dutchman in history to debut in the NTT IndyCar Series. VeeKay has signed a contract with Ed Carpenter Racing for a full season in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, which also includes the world famous Indy 500. “It’s a dream come true, but also something we have worked towards in the last couple of years. I feel very honored and I want to thank Ed Carpenter and his partners for this great opportunity and the trust”, said a very happy VeeKay.
Rinus VeeKay attracted the attention of Ed Carpenter Racing with his great performances in the last three years he raced in the Road to Indy categories. It was the reason for the highly regarded NTT IndyCar Series team to invite the 19 year-old Dutchman from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands for two test days. These tests at Portland and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course were decisive for Ed Carpenter Racing. TeamNL driver VeeKay impressed so much with his speed, professional attitude and feedback, that Ed Carpenter Racing immediately showed great interest in signing the young Dutch talent for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series. At only 19 years of age VeeKay is by far the youngest Dutchman in history to make his debut in the NTT IndyCar Series.
VeeKay is very happy and excited with this unique opportunity. “I’m so happy. It’s a dream come true and something at which we have worked extremely hard for the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special. I would like to thank Ed Carpenter and his partners for this great opportunity and trust. The number of available seats in the NTT IndyCar Series is very limited, so it’s a great honour that they choose me to join their team. I would like to thank Jumbo, La Place, KNAF TeamNL, my new partner Basic-Fit, all my other partners, my personal trainer Raun Grobben and my manager Charles Crews, but most all my family who made this all happen. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season.”
The driving force behind, and co-owner of Ed Carpenter Racing, is IndyCar racing driver Ed Carpenter. Carpenter is a real oval-track specialist who has claimed pole position for the Indianapolis 500 three times and has won three IndyCar races on ovals. “I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” said Carpenter. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver. We’re very excited for the 2020 season to get here and have an ECR car return to Victory Lane!”
VeeKay’s great predecessor is of course Arie Luyendyk, the Dutchman who won the Indy 500 twice. A great fact is that Luyendyk has been VeeKay’s mentor and coach for several years now. “This is really fantastic. This all went really quick, but Rinus has outgrown the Indy Lights category. When you drive in the Road to Indy program, the NTT IndyCar Series team owners see you at all the races and can spot young talent. Ed Carpenter was impressed after the first test and the second test was really phenomenal. I noticed his talent a few years ago. It was the way he won both races at Elkhart Lake, that was really special. Rinus has a natural speed, really impressive,” said an elated Luyendyk. In 2009 Robert Doornbos was the last Dutch competitor in the NTT IndyCar Series.
In 2017, when he stepped up from karting to single seaters, VeeKay chose the Road to Indy motorsport ladder with the ultimate goal to race in the NTT IndyCar Series. In his maiden season VeeKay finished as the runner up in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, stepped to the Pro Mazda Championship (Indy Pro 2000) to claim the title and the Mazda Scholarship. This season VeeKay stepped up to the highest level of the Road to Indy, the Indy Lights, and claimed the title of vice champion with six wins and fourteen podium finishes out of eighteen races. In the three seasons he raced in the Road to Indy categories VeeKay claimed 16 race wins and 36 podium finishes out of 48 races, a score rating of 75%.
The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series comprises 17 races at 16 tracks which include ovals, road course and street course venues. The world famous Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the unchallenged highlight of the NTT IndyCar Series season. VeeKay’s Indy 500 debut will be exactly 30 years after Luyendyk’s first Indy 500 victory. The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series kicks off in St. Petersburg, Florida, March 15.
In 2020 Rinus VeeKay is supported by Ed Carpenter Racing and partners, Jumbo, La Place, Basis-Fit, KNAF TeamNL, Holmatro, Oger and The Challenge Sports & Health Club Curaçao.
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