IndyCar: Rinus VeeKay excels with fourth in Ohio
Rinus ‘VeeKay’ van Kalmthout has started the second half of the NTT INDYCAR 2022 season with a handsome fourth place finish. The 21-year-old Dutchman delivered an outstanding race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
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After a three-week hiatus, VeeKay and his IndyCar teammates were cleared to appear for the season’s restart in Ohio. Although the start of the year has been particularly favorable for VeeKay, the talented twenty-something left June with a bad aftertaste, despite an even better May. At the Detroit and Road America circuits, the best results were not achieved due to personal error and an unwilling car.
Time for VeeKay to put things in order. The driver of the #21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet headed to Ohio in good spirits. Not surprising, because he’s driven very strong races in the past. In qualifying on Saturday afternoon (local time), Wieke again qualified for the Fast Twelve. In it, Dutch Trump took the eleventh place.
At the start of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Wieke had to sit back and watch as a flurry in the first few corners cost him two spots. It will be a tough game from thirteenth place. After all, the Mid-Ohio circuit is known to be a real challenge for driver and engine – and not easy to overtake. This forced Ed Carpenter Racing to rethink strategy.
As a result, Veeke was brought to his first stop after 24 of 80 laps, ahead of most of his rivals. ECR and VeeKay attempted what was called an undercut. The setup was a success: after the first series of pit stops, Wieke finished seventh. Stopping earlier than the rest and creating lightning-fast lap patterns, the Dutchman moved ahead of rivals who had fallen behind at first after another pit visit.
After a neutralization phase midway through the game, it was Veeke who excelled as usual. With a brilliant catch up, the Dutchman moved past multiple champions Scott Dixon and Joseph Newgarden before pipping pole sitter Pado O’Ward moments later. The bright orange car was in P4 from that moment on, and VeeKay would not let up. New Zealander Scott McLaughlin won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
“Finally a nice day!” VeeKay Cheers from America. “I started 11th but didn’t get a good start and lost a few places. Luckily I was able to keep up with the cars in front of me during the first stint. Coming in a bit earlier was a smart strategic move. More than the others, because when everyone made their first pit stop, I I was seventh. Then I had some tough overtaking!”
“After a maneuver where I passed Dixon and Newgarden on an outside move, I caught Will Power. However, he had new soft tires, mine were already a few laps old. When I tried to overtake him, he kept his leg up. So I missed a podium. . But that’s okay: fourth is a great result on this track, very happy for me and the team.”
“Let the underwhelming series be a thing of the past: I am very positive about the course of this first race after a short break and hope to continue the series in Toronto, of which I have fond memories, now finally the first time race in an IndyCar car.”
Thanks to his fourth place, Wieke has 32 championship points. So, after nine out of seventeen games, the counter stands at 193 points, good for twelfth place.
The 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series season continues in two weeks in Canada, when the Honda Indy Toronto is scheduled. The only competition outside the United States will be held at the Fairgrounds in downtown Toronto. Due to the confusion of recent years, this will be the first visit to the Canadian metropolis since 2019, making it the first time Veeke, who debuted in 2020, will race in IndyCar in Toronto. The match starts at 9.30pm Dutch time on Sunday 17th July.
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