Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay was beaming after completing his second NTT IndyCar Series test with Ed Carpenter Racing earlier this week. The 19-year-old Dutchman wore himself out in the No. 20 Chevy at the Mid-Ohio road course, which follows the first test he conducted for ECR at Portland in August.
“I knew what to expect from the car this time after Portland,” VeeKay told RACER. “At Portland, it was testing together with the Andretti and Ganassi guys, and this time it was just me. It was a very good test. There was rubber left over from the [ARX] Rallycross event, so once that was cleared, we did about 160 laps and it was really productive. My quickest lap time would have been good enough for the front row of this year’s race.”
Coming off an Indy Lights debut that produced six wins for Juncos Racing, VeeKay’s speed should not come as a surprise. After the single-day test at Portland, he raved about driving the Dallara DW12-Chevy and how hard it could be pushed from corner to corner. Building from the first test, returning to the No. 20 ECR entry brought similar returns for VeeKay.
“It felt like I was very connected to the car,” he said. “Also, learning to push on cold tires was good for me, and we got to do some other things that will make it easier for me when I begin to race in IndyCar.”
Amid ongoing preparations to join the IndyCar field in 2020, VeeKay is working on signing with a quality team. ECR is among his options.
“I wish I could say when I will have a deal; it’s a lot of weight on my shoulders to get it done,” he said. “We’re working as fast as possible to make it happen, and I really want to thank Ed Carpenter, with the limited amount of testing teams can do, for making these tests happen. They have helped me quite a lot.”