Interview

ASHLEY ASKS…… Rinus Veekay

After a successful runner-up campaign in Cooper Tire USF2000 Powered by Mazda, Rinus Veekay will make the jump up to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The Juncos Racing driver recently talked about his new ride, as well as this past USF2000 season.

POPULAR OPEN WHEEL: What are your thoughts on joining Juncos Racing?

RINUS VEEKAY: I am so happy to join a team like Juncos for 2018. They are so successful and showed they are professional, and the fact that I am driving for an IndyCar team now will work out well for me.

POW: What are your goals and expectations for the 2018 season?

RV: My goal for next season is to fight for the championship again and also win it.

POW: Now you got to test an Indy Lights car recently at Indianapolis….

RV: It was an amazing opportunity to drive an Indy Lights car, espically at IMS which is very special. It went pretty well. I had the quickest time in a session, and every session I was in the top-five, so I think when I will move up later on to Indy Lights, I do not have anything to worry.

POW: Now why the decision to go Pro Mazda rather than Indy Lights?

RV: I got advised by Arie Luyendyk, a former Indy 500 winner two times, and he told me that it’s better for me to do one extra step in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder and if possible, win this one, so when I come to Indy Lights or IndyCar I have more experience. I can maybe go for the wins right away.

POW: What track are you most looking forward to getting to?

RV: I’m looking forward to St. Pete, first race of the season, and I’m really looking forward to getting a taste of a competition in the first weekend and seeing how it goes. It’s a street course and there’s lots of people there. Then I’m looking forward to Road America because that’s the track I had a couple wins last year. It’s amazing track and I look forward to racing there in Pro Mazda.

POW: What are your thoughts looking back on 2017?

RV: It was a great season. I prefer to win a championship, but I think we had a great second half of the season, so if I just keep these results going and win a little more, that’ll be great.

POW: What’s the biggest thing you learned this past season?

RV: Consistency of finishing in the points and not to make stupid moves to where you lose time or go off.

POW: What are your plans throughout the off-season?

RV: I’m going to finish the championship in the middle east, and hopefully win that one because it’s great preparation ahead of next season to stay sharp and to keep driving. Then do some testing in the US to get a good feel for the Pro Mazda car, and Juncos Racing, and hopefully dominate at St. Pete.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

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