19 year old Rinus Veekay has joined Ed Carpenter Racing in a full-time capacity for 2020, stepping up from the Indy Lights Series where he finished in second place this year.
The Dutch driver has been a likely candidate for the seat for several months, after being selected by team owner Ed Carpenter to go through an evaluation test at Portland International Raceway in August. He also tested at Mid-Ohio a few weeks ago, and has now been confirmed in the seat as he competes in IndyCar in a full-time role for the first time.
He will drive the No.21 Chevrolet. His teammate will be team boss Ed Carpenter, who will continue driving the No.20 for the oval courses. However, the team say they are yet to pick a driver to take part in the street and road courses – a position that Nico Hulkenberg has been linked with recently. Last week, Ed Carpenter Racing denied any truth to the rumours. They say they will announce the driver in due course.
“I’m so happy!” said VeeKay, whose path in motorsport seems to have been firmly set on IndyCar from a young age, despite being from Netherlands where a Formula 1 career might be the expected goal. “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 IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”
Veekay won six races during his 2019 Indy Lights campaign, and only missed out on the podium four times out of eighteen races. Such form impressed Ed Carpenter, who said: “I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years.”
“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.”