Rinus VeeKay will stay with Ed Carpenter Racing for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, team officials announced today in Long Beach, California, site of the season-ending 2021 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
VeeKay, 21, will continue as full-time driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet for a third season. He earned his first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory in May by winning the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
When the 2021 season concludes today in the streets of Long Beach, VeeKay’s focus will immediately shift to 2022’s 17-race schedule.
"I am very excited to have another season with Ed Carpenter Racing,” VeeKay said. “We made so much progress this year. I had my first win in INDYCAR and made many great memories.
“Next year, we can be better than we've ever been. We want to be championship contenders, to go for even better results, more frequent wins and podium finishes. The atmosphere at ECR is perfect for that. It feels like a group of friends who are eager to work hard for strong results. I am excited to continue that in 2022 and not having anything change.”
Raised in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Rinus van Kalmthout began karting in 2009 at age 8.
With sights set firmly on the pinnacle of North American open wheel racing, he transitioned to the Road to Indy in 2017 and launched his U.S. career driving as Rinus VeeKay. His rapid ascent through the RTI ranks included 16 wins and 36 podiums in 48 races. Those statistics propelled him to second place in the 2017 USF2000 standings, the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 title and a runner-up finish in the 2019 Indy Lights championship. Just four years into his career in the United States, VeeKay not only reached the NTT INDYCAR SERIES but earned 2020 Rookie of the Year honors.
“I am very happy that Rinus will be back behind the wheel for ECR in 2022,” team owner Ed Carpenter said. “Rinus has continued to show that he has the talent and work ethic to be a champion and that’s the goal of our team. We look forward to more success next season.”
In 2020, VeeKay recorded the best qualifying result by a teenager in Indianapolis 500 history by starting fourth. In 2021, he qualified third and became the youngest front row starter in "500" history.
“I want to thank Ed Carpenter for giving me the opportunity to drive for another season,” VeeKay said. “Ed was the one that gave me the chance to be able to prove myself in INDYCAR, and I am very grateful to him. Thank you to Tony George, Stuart Reed and the entire team, every single person who makes this possible. I am the one driving, but there is a whole team behind me working day a night to give me a good, reliable car. I also really appreciate the support of ECR's partners, including SONAX and Direct Supply, for allowing us to work hard, improve and take a big step forward this offseason."
A third year with the Indianapolis-based team will make VeeKay the longest-tenured full-time driver in Ed Carpenter Racing's 10-year history. Since its inception in 2012, ECR has raced exclusively in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The team has shown versatility by earning eight wins, including victories on each style of track the series competes on - street and road courses, short ovals and speedways.