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VeeKay “loyal” to ECR however exploring IndyCar choices for 2025 and past

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Depend Rinus VeeKay among the many shortlist of gifted drivers within the IndyCar Collection with out particular plans for 2025.

The 23-year-old Dutchman is within the remaining yr of his contract with Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR), the workforce he has known as dwelling since leaping into North America’s premier open-wheel championship in 2020.

The early a part of their relationship collectively appeared to point out promise, with VeeKay scoring the only real profession win on the Indianapolis Highway Course in 2021, which was solely his nineteenth begin. Robust outcomes, nevertheless, have been a battle as a regression has been in play ever since.

Final yr solely featured two top-10s, together with a greatest end of sixth at Portland. Whereas flashes of improved tempo have been on show this yr, it has nonetheless been robust going, as the most effective outcome to date was an eighth within the season-opening spherical on the Streets of St. Petersburg.  

With VeeKay within the midst of a contract yr, and this previous week that includes one domino falling as Arrow McLaren introduced a mutual parting of how with Alexander Rossi and changing him with present Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Christian Lundgaard for 2025, the query was posed in a Friday media availability to Veekay on the place issues stand with him past this season.

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“I’m going to be a free agent on the finish of the yr,” VeeKay mentioned.  “I’m coming to the tip of my contract.

“It’s all the time a bit attention-grabbing, I really feel like I’m off sequence with a lot of the subject this yr with driver contracts and when issues open up.

Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Picture by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

“To me, nothing modifications. I would like to point out tempo and outcomes. We haven’t actually had the luck this yr. I’m in the identical scenario I’ve been in for the final 5 seasons.  

“I wish to present the most effective of myself. I all the time prefer to give attention to driving. I’ve been in a number of contract years, free agent years, I all the time really feel prefer it makes me sharper as a result of I really want to point out myself.

“I really want to point out what I’m able to. It provides me one more reason to focus extra and actually anticipate essentially the most out of myself and the workforce.”

Contemplating how lengthy he has been with ECR, would he favour a change of surroundings with a brand new alternative versus returning and persevering with to attempt to elevate the workforce from its present depths?

“I must look it up,” VeeKay mentioned. “I’m a loyal driver to the workforce.

“I feel we’ve helped one another in each methods in each instructions. After all, I’m exploring what I can do inside the workforce and what my choices are for subsequent yr additionally.

“I would like to take a look at the choices on the surface to see if my profession can progress at a faster price by some means; after all, that’s what each driver would do. It feels late into the season with some dominos falling proper now, however nonetheless, it’s fairly early.

“All I can do proper now’s to point out the most effective I can do with the automotive and that’ll assist me (and) it’ll assist the workforce. And in a while, I’ll see what the choices are later this season.”

Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

Picture by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

VeeKay additionally acknowledged the features made by the workforce this yr however famous how the outcomes haven’t offered something deserving to match the pace.

“I imply, we’ve had so much higher tempo than final yr, I really feel like, with race tempo,” VeeKay mentioned. “We’ve simply been so unfortunate.

“We’ve had plenty of mechanicals. Final (race) weekend, we had a gearbox fail and the weekend earlier than we had a left-front suspension fail at Highway America. So, we’ve had one thing occurring every time, which more often than not has been out of the workforce’s arms; racing vehicles break typically. In order that’s been unfortunate.

“I really feel like that is actually a midway a part of the season, often you see drivers worsen all through the season from this race on, particularly with the hybrid… I feel we have now the tempo and the data proper now to be across the high 10 extra usually and transfer up within the championship.”

Whereas VeeKay at present sits seventeenth within the championship standings with two top-10s, the No. 21 entry he drives is 18th (with the No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet’s driver rotation outcomes slotting it increased), which he famous is considerably decrease than at some other level throughout his tenure with ECR.

“I feel the automotive, the entry, is now 18th within the championship; that’s in all probability the worst we’ve ever been,” mentioned VeeKay, who has a greatest championship end of twelfth (twice – 2021, 2022).

“Pace-wise we’re good, however results-wise, we actually want to maximise these races.”

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