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Rinus VeeKay embracing management function at ECR coming into 2024

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Though solely 23 years {old}, VeeKay is already going into his fifth season in North America’s premier open-wheel championship.

Final 12 months’s output by the Dutchman featured solely two high 10s and a finest results of sixth en path to putting 14th within the standings. Statistically, it was the worst season of his profession. Nevertheless, battling via such a difficult marketing campaign pressured progress for each he and the group.

“With it being our hardest, hardest season to date, it made me work more durable and likewise made me change my voice a bit bit within the staff and made my voice a bit extra demanding, I believe,” VeeKay mentioned.

“I really feel like I’ve at all times actually listened to the staff, to what they are saying. I nonetheless do, however I believe proper now I’ve additionally received the voice, like I can speak to them and actually make them change issues if we have to.”

Among the many lowly 2023 was ECR’s midseason driver swap as VeeKay’s team-mate modified from Conor Daly to Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. Whereas the affect of that swap undoubtedly influenced VeeKay, pure maturity on and off the observe performed an element, in response to staff proprietor/driver Ed Carpenter.

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“I believe it is the entire above,” Carpenter mentioned.

“He will get an increasing number of of his personal expertise. I am positive there undoubtedly was an impact from Ryan, simply studying from an incredible teammate, a veteran teammate, a champion, an Indy 500 winner, being round that, seeing how he approaches it, and simply getting older. He’s married now. Your life modifications as you become older. Your perspective modifications. I believe it is all of these issues.”

Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

These phrases by Carpenter solely construct up VeeKay’s motivation, but additionally be a mentor to incoming rooking and reigning Indy NXT champion Christian Rasmussen in a automotive beforehand occupied by Hunter-Reay.

“Yeah, it does give me confidence to listen to that, but additionally I imagine I am prepared,” mentioned VeeKay, who has one IndyCar Sequence win (IMS Street Course, 2021).

“That is going to be my fifth season in IndyCar. We have needed to undergo rather a lot with the staff, so it has been a enjoyable trip to date. “I’ve at all times had a extra skilled driver subsequent to me. I nonetheless have Ed on the ovals, however I really feel like I received the expertise to hold the staff and know what we have to do as a staff to get higher, additionally throughout a race weekend, and I understand how to adapt to get higher.

“I believe additionally Christian, he trusts me, trusts my expertise. I believe it’s going to be an excellent season, and I am completely prepared for the management function.”

And in terms of studying find out how to lead, VeeKay credited the Hunter-Reay with displaying him what that appears like.

“The preparation with Ryan, that he actually confirmed me, he would have an entire pocket book of issues he considered at evening that popped up in his head, and he wrote it down and analyzed it and considered it much more,” VeeKay mentioned.

“Stuff like that I had by no means achieved. I simply began carrying a pocket book that I simply wrote stuff in and considered and tried to simply be as prepared as potential for each race, and do not attempt to discover issues out on the fly. That actually helped.

“I believe I used to be extra ready in conditions in a race, the place previously I’d sort of be unsure of what to do. I actually had a robust opinion on the place to go.

“I believe these are issues that actually helped me simply be extra prepared for the races.”

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