Rinus VeeKay has firmly set his sights on finishing inside the top-five at the end of the 2021 IndyCar season after last year’s impressive debut campaign.
Despite having to wait until October to earn his first podium at the first Harvest Grand Prix, the 20-year old was often was involved in some of the most exciting on-track action of the year.
Now that he’s had a full season under his belt and will continue with Ed Carpenter Racing for his sophomore campaign, VeeKay believes he can step up and be one of IndyCar’s front-runners.
“I want to do better than I did last year in every way,” said the Dutchman. “I think we can be a frontrunner regularly, like we can be one of the favourites every race.
“I’m thinking about top-five. Once you’re in that position, there will be an opportunity where you can go for that race win where everything goes your way.
“We just have to make sure we have the pace. I know we’ve got the strategy.
“If I just keep doing what I’m doing and have the team keep putting in the work that they did in the off-season, I think we can really run at the front, and hopefully go for podiums.
“Hopefully that first win, that’s something I really want to go for. I’m fully committed for the season.”
VeeKay had a poor showing in his debut race at Texas Motor Speedway after he collided with fellow rookie Alex Palou after just 36 laps.
Although at the time team owner Ed Carpenter was not terribly happy at the young driver’s lack of patience in the opening round, he was able to witness the his driver’s talent show through throughout the year.
Heading into their second season together, Carpenter echoes his young driver’s belief that he can help lead ECR to its first win since 2016.
“Based on what we had seen with [VeeKay’s] talent and ability prior to Texas, I was fairly confident in where his potential was,” added Carpenter.
“I love Rinus’ confidence. He truly believes in himself and the team.
“That’s what was so frustrating about Texas for a lot of reasons. But his ability to respond, to realize his mistakes, have ownership of his mistakes and move forward, I think you saw him get stronger and stronger as the season went on.
“He’s still 20. He’s got a lot to learn. He knows that. But he works extremely hard on the track, off the track, and I have no doubt we’re going to continue to see his ability to show his talents on a more consistent basis.