FAST-RISING VEEKAY STELLAR IN ROAD TO INDY PROGRAM
But who’s this young Dutch phenom who’ll make his NTT IndyCar Series debut in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March? Road to Indy fans already knows him because of the hard-charging protégé of fellow countryman (and two-time Indy 500 winner) Arie Luyendyk, Indy 500 Live stream, that has made a name for himself on the international stage by finishing in the top two at all three of his Road to Indy seasons.
VeeKay’s victory is well documented, with his recent history closely connected to that of fellow Road to Indy graduate, 2019 Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew. Indy 500 Live stream. He finished second to Askew this season to finish his Road to Indy career with some impressive statistics in 46 races, such as 16 wins, 14 poles and 36 podiums (78 percent). As did Askew, who a few weeks ago signed with Arrow McLaren SP, VeeKay appreciates the part that the Road to Indy played his expansion.
“Without the path to Indy, I would not be the driver I am today,” he explained. “I really love all the opportunities last three decades, especially the Mazda scholarship for 2019. Indy 500 stream. I was glad to be able to compete with this kind of degree, learning off-track in addition to on track. I feel like I am prepared going into interviews, public speaking, social networking, dealing with the fans. It’s unique, to have a ladder system that teaches you all that.”
The indigenous of Hoofddorp, Netherlands grew up at the racetrack as he, his sister Michelle and mother Evelien cheered on his dad Marijn in Formula Ford, Benelux Racing League and BOSSGP races for a lot of his younger years. Indy 500 Live stream, On his eighth birthday, his father gave Rinus a Tony Kart, and his destiny was sealed.
VeeKay entered the worldwide racing positions at age 12 and won the Dutch Rotax Max Junior course (the youngest Dutch junior champion in history) before proceeding to Italy and finishing third in the CIK-FIA Karting Academy. Numerous championships in Holland and Europe followed, and in 2014, he made entry to KNAF Talent First, an Olympic-style training program for young athletes. Indy 500 stream. The KNAF Talent First training centers comprised a racing simulator, giving VeeKay his very first taste of American racetracks and planting a seed because he started to make decisions concerning his future.
“The Road to Indy ladder system and the scholarships were quite a significant factor as I decided where to go,” he explained. “It is very special that drivers get the opportunity to go all of the way up the ladder, along with the scholarship program really helped me. That’s among the factors that initially made me want to come to the usa.Indy 500 Live stream.
“And as I trained on the simulator thought Road America was so cool, and when I arrived to the U.S., it ended up being my favorite track. It’s a European feel, like Spa-Francorchamps, but using an American atmosphere. When you race there, you can smell the barbecues.”Indy 500 stream.
When a Road to Indy karting advancement program awarded the youthful VeeKay a USF2000 test, the VeeKay family started to look at America in earnest. Indy 500 stream, He drove for Cape Motorsports in the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at 2015, held that year in Circuit of The Americas but given his tender age (just 15 at the time) and also the fact that the Tatuus USF-17 would come online a year later, he spent the following year in karting since he prepared for his race car advent. Indy 500 Live stream, VeeKay announced his plans to compete in the series at the USF-17 show just prior to this 2016 Indianapolis 500, a weekend that is forever etched in his memory.
“Being in the 100th Running of the Indy 500 — and seeing exactly what my future could be — was amazing,” he explained.
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VeeKay competed in the Rotax US Open Senior championship that season and across the way encountered another young driver who would become his primary Road to Indy rival: Floridian Oliver Askew.
VeeKay made his USF2000 debut in 2017 driving for Pabst Racing, earning a rod, three victories and 12 podium finishes, never finishing lower than his qualifying position in all 14 races. Indy 500 stream, Finishing the season only seven points behind Askew, VeeKay credits the Pabst group for giving him the resources to succeed that year.
“I am rather happy with the chance they gave me just two weeks before the season started, after the Carlin-Benik team I’d signed with decided to discontinue their USF2000 schedule,” he said. “I still have a good connection with Augie and the entire family. Indy 500 Live stream. They are such a fantastic racing family and I am so thankful for what they did me in USF2000.”