ECR touts VeeKay qualifying result as proof of off-season improvements

Jake Galstad/Lumen

ECR touts VeeKay qualifying result as proof of off-season improvements

IndyCar

ECR touts VeeKay qualifying result as proof of off-season improvements

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A member of the Ed Carpenter Racing team ran over after Rinus VeeKay qualified fourth, and with a giant smile, said: “He’s back.”

The young Dutchman signaled his intent for the season with an immediate return to the form that netted his first NTT IndyCar Series win last year by throwing his No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy into the Firestone Fast Six, and while there, he displaced the likes of Romain Grosjean, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and the entire Chip Ganassi Racing and Arrow McLaren SP teams.

“I am very happy with qualifying, P4!” VeeKay exclaimed. “First ever Firestone Fast Six experience, very proud of the team. They gave me a great car. We had an amazing off-season to use as a base for this weekend. On to a great result tomorrow.”

VeeKay’s teammate Conor Daly had the opposite experience as his No. 20 Chevy was relegated to P20 in qualifying, but as team president Tim Broyles sees it, VeeKay’s performance is an indicator of where ECR can place both cars at future rounds.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted for Conor, but I feel like overall, we came off the trucks good and a lot of this is a testament to the work that we’ve done offseason,” Broyles told RACER. “Rinus has done a lot of work himself and it feels good to see him come out strong. It’s also showing the work that we’ve done as a team as well.

“I’m hoping everything continues in that direction; if we can start the season strong, hopefully, that is momentum we can build upon.”

Broyles credited a lot of Daly’s pre-season contributions with helping ECR to make a hard launch into 2022.

“We had a really good test at Sebring, and what formulated our baseline setup is something Conor was a big part of, between our on-track testing or simulation work that we’ve done,” Broyles added. “We’ll get Conor up there and right now, I feel like we’re where we should be as a team.”

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 9 – ROAD AMERICA

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