Sportscars: Rinus VeeKay is preparing to start the 24-hour race
For the first time in his motorsport career, Rinus ‘VeeKay’ van Kalmthout appears at the start of an endurance race. The 20-year-old rookie will leave the 2020 IndyCar season, along with his three teammates, from fifth place on Saturday.
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The motorsport season begins in the United States as it always has with the popular 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway, the Rolex 24. This race is part of the WeatherTech Motorsports Championship, the tournament also known as the Organizing Federation. IMSA.
IndyCar driver VeeKay is one of nine Dutch people to appear initially. Hoofdorber, who now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, went to Daytona, Florida at the invitation of the successful DragonSpeed Team.
VeeKay drives the car with starting number 81. He shares that car with Ben Hanley (36), Garrett Grist (25) and initiator Rob Hodes (60). Grist and Hodes took over the playoffs last Sunday – they led the Motul Pole Prize 81st place from 100 to 12th in the overall standings, meaning fifth in the LMP2 category. Racing Team Netherlands also shares that category with Fritz Van Erd, owner of Jumbo, VeeKay’s personal sponsor.
The legendary Daytona International Speedway oval is used for the 24 Hours of Daytona, Florida. An international horseshoe section (turns from one to six) and a bus stop (eight to eleven) have been added to give the entire track racing look. Consequently, the so-called “Sports Car Course” is at least 5.73 kilometers long, and it is estimated that the winning LMP2 team will drive more than eight hundred laps.
# 81 DragonSpeed has the honor to back it. Last year, this entry won the Daytona 24 Hours in the LMP2 category. VeeKay teammate Hanley was part of the 2020 winning quartet.
VeeKay didn’t have much time to adapt to DragonSpeed’s Oreca 07-Gibson, but nonetheless quickly found its way. “Of course it takes a little getting used to if you’re used to IndyCar, but I love it. In setup, I drove about fifty laps. That’s not much, but it’s part of the deal: You share the car with three other drivers and they also want to groom themselves well. That’s why you should. Share available time. I feel comfortable in the car and looking forward to my endurance debut! ”
VeeKay knows that being awake for twenty-four hours is not recommended, of course. “Several people advised me to take adequate rest during the race. As a driver, you will of course continue to follow the race, but you have no control over what your teammates do,” VeeKay points to the fact that nail biting at the sidelines has little effect on what happens on right track.
“The only thing you can control is your performance,” continues the 20-year-old. “We count on each other for the result, but I trust Ben, Rob and Garrett. As a team, we have the goal to finish the race and give us training times our chance to finish the podium. Better to win the match, but I know it’s going to be a fight.”
The Rolex 24 will launch on Saturday night at approximately 9.45 pm NST. The ending makes sense exactly 24 hours later, Sunday evening. The entire race can be watched via Ziggo Sport Racing.
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