IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year: Rinus VeeKay
Who is Rinus VeeKay?
Rinus “VeeKay” van Kalmthout is a Dutch driver in the IndyCar Series for Ed Carpenter Racing. He was born in Hoofddorp, in The Netherlands on September 11th, 2000, and still lives there as of today. He is the son of Marijn van Kalmthout (who is also a driver) and Evelien van Kalmthout and even raced against his father during the BOSS GP at the ‘JUMBO Familydays driven by Max Verstappen’ where van Kalmthout senior drove a 1997 Benetton F1 car and, the then 16-year-old, Rinus drove a 700hp GP2 car.
Written By Esmée K, Edited By Aiden Hover
He started racing in the United States in the USF2000 National Championship in 2017 for Pabst Racing Services. He finished second in the championship standings with 344 points, winning three races and only missing out on a podium twice. After that, he entered the Pro Mazda Championship with Juncos Racing where he ended up winning the championship with 412 points. He won seven of the 16 races that year and finished second twice. His lowest result that year was 14th at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In 2019, he entered the Indy Lights with Juncos Racing and the Asian F3 Winter Series with Dragon Hitech GP. It was a successful year for Rinus, winning the Asian F3 Winter Series with 184 points and finishing second in the Indy Lights Series with 465 points. Rinus won four out of nine races in the Asian F3 Series and six out of eighteen races in the Indy Lights Series.
VeeKay’s 2020 Season
Rinus van Kalmthout’s 2020 season was less successful than the years before, which is to be expected when you move into a new series (being IndyCar) with lots of talented and experienced drivers. He signed with Ed Carpenter Racing and ended up in 14th place with 289 points as well as the rookie of the year award. Veekay also entered the Indianapolis 500 with Ed Carpenter Racing using a Chevrolet engine and Dallara chassis. He started 4th and finished 20th.
What’s next for VeeKay?
In an interview with JUMBO magazine, Rinus talks about the “Max Verstappen craziness” that surrounds the F1 driver. He further states that he wants to create such hype around IndyCar as well, seeing as it isn’t as popular in The Netherlands. He also dreams of having a home Grand Prix and says he would be interested in bringing the IndyCar series across the pond. With his title as rookie of the year, it is surely possible to create such hype around IndyCar, and hopefully, he can form a growing Dutch fanbase and maybe even get his own home race.