Carpenter Tabs VeeKay For Full IndyCar Season

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Rinus VeeKay has joined Ed Carpenter Racing for the full NTT IndyCar Series schedule. (IndyCar Photo)
Rinus VeeKay has joined Ed Carpenter Racing for the full NTT IndyCar Series schedule. (IndyCar Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – Rinus VeeKay has joined Ed Carpenter Racing to drive the No. 21 Chevrolet for the full NTT IndyCar Series schedule next season.

The 19-year-old joins Ed Carpenter Racing after a second-place finish in this year’s Indy Lights championship.

Born in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Rinus van Kalmthout began karting in 2009 at the age of 8. With sights set on the NTT IndyCar Series, he transitioned to the Road to Indy in 2017 and launched his U.S. career driving as Rinus VeeKay.

He found immediate success, following up a second-place finish in the 2017 USF2000 standings with the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 title. His championship season included seven wins, 10 podium finishes and the Road to Indy career advancement scholarship, which placed him just one step below his ultimate goal.

For the 2019 Indy Lights season, VeeKay claimed six race wins and finished on the podium 14 of 18 times en route to a runner-up finish in the standings. In all, the Dutch teenager has earned 16 Road to Indy victories and 36 podium finishes in just 48 races.

“I’m so happy,” said VeeKay. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

VeeKay got his first taste of an NTT IndyCar Series car in August when Carpenter selected him for an evaluation test at Portland Int’l Raceway. A second successful test followed at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October. Days later, he stepped back into an Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy Test and set the fastest time in all six sessions. VeeKay will now focus solely on the NTT IndyCar Series, competing with ECR as a rookie.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” commented 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.”

VeeKay replaces Spencer Pigot as the driver of Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 21. Pigot spent the last two seasons driving the No. 21 entry full-time for the team.

“I would like to thank Ed Carpenter and his partners for this great opportunity and trust,” said VeeKay. “The number of available seats in the NTT IndyCar Series is very limited, so it’s a great honor that they have chosen 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 manager Charles Crews, but most all my family who made this all happen. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season.”