Rinus van Kalmthout secures full-time IndyCar seat with ECR

Rinus van Kalmthout will graduate to the IndyCar Series in 2020 after signing a deal to compete for Ed Carpenter Racing.

Van Kalmthout, known as ‘VeeKay’, has participated on the IndyCar junior ladder since 2017, taking the 2018 Pro Mazda Championship, and finishing runner-up to Oliver Askew in this year’s Indy Lights series.

VeeKay linked up with ECR for two tests in 2019, at Portland and Mid-Ohio, and will now step up to the series full-time next year.

VeeKay, 19, will pilot ECR’s No. 21 car, replacing Spencer Pigot, at all 17 races.

ECR has yet to confirm who will partner oval specialist Carpenter in the No. 20 machine for the 12 road and street courses on next year’s calendar.

VeeKay is so far one of two confirmed rookies on the 2020 grid, with Askew having secured a berth at McLaren, alongside Pato O'Ward.

"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 demeanour inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

Added 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.”