Rinus VeeKay will conduct his second IndyCar test with the Ed Carpenter Racing team on October 15 at Mid-Ohio.
The teenage Dutchman turned his first IndyCar laps in August behind the wheel of an ECR Chevy at Portland, and with his anticipated move to the big series after scoring six Indy Lights wins in 2019, the visit to Mid-Ohio will only help to accelerate his learning curve.
“I’m really honored that the team has invited me to test again,” VeeKay said. “It’s a great opportunity to show what I’m capable of. I learned so much during the first test in Portland and I’m excited to build on that at Mid-Ohio, a track I absolutely love.”
Building off his 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship with Juncos Racing, the 19-year-old moved up to Indy Lights with the team where he battled Andretti Autosport’s Oliver Askew – the 2019 title winner – from beginning to end. Taking both wins at the season finale in Monterey was the perfect conclusion to VeeKay’s time on the Road to Indy.
“It means a lot that a team as highly regarded as Ed Carpenter Racing has invited me back for a second test,” he said. “The testing opportunities in the NTT IndyCar Series are very limited, so when you’re invited for a test, that’s a real sign of confidence.”
Team owner Ed Carpenter told RACER that he was surprised by how quickly VeeKay adapted to an IndyCar during his first test.
“He was really comfortable straight away,” Carpenter said. “I thought it was a valuable test for us. You know, it’s hard when you put a rookie in at a test and you don’t know how much of the time and tires are just going to be working towards getting the driver comfortable, and used to the feel of the IndyCar. But he was comfortable really, really quickly and we were able to have a productive test day. His feedback was really good, and his base was really strong.
“For sure he’s on our radar. In my opinion, I feel like he’s the strongest guy coming out of Lights this year. He was competing against the Andretti Lights team that won everything last year. And, you know, I like Ricardo [Juncos], but for how much of a fight Rinus gave Oliver, I think it was pretty strong.”
VeeKay has a number of options to consider in IndyCar. Having expressed his preference to race full-time in 2020, ECR would likely need to offer more than taking over Ed Carpenter’s No. 20 Chevy on the road and street courses. A.J. Foyt Racing, Arrow McLaren SP, Carlin Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing also have seats available for VeeKay and other interested drivers to pursue.