Rinus VeeKay, the Dutch phenom who won this year’s Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires (formerly Pro Mazda) championship – the middle rung of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder – will step up to Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires in 2019 with the same Juncos Racing team where he achieved his 2018 success. The team made the announcement on Friday.
VeeKay won seven Indy Pro 2000 races and six pole positions this season to earn a scholarship and incentive package valued at $815,150 to advance to the top rung of the MRTI ladder.
“I feel really at home with Juncos Racing," VeeKay said. “I think I can improve my performance and get better with this team, and that is extremely important for my next goal, the IndyCar Series."
VeeKay will follow in an Indy Lights legacy that team owner Ricardo Juncos has created. Spencer Pigot won the 2015 championship and Kyle Kaiser did the same in 2017 driving for Juncos Racing. VeeKay knows he is in good hands as he advances to Indy Lights next season.
“Last season they proved that, after a setback, they can come back better than ever before and that they do everything they can to be successful," the 18-year-old from Hoofddorp, Netherlands, said. “The 2015 and 2017 Indy Lights titles prove that. I’m really looking forward to working together with Ricardo and his team again and to being successful."
VeeKay has already tested the Indy Lights car with Juncos twice this fall.
“Rinus has proved that he is ready for the next level of the Road to Indy through his work ethic both on and off the track," Juncos said. “The level of training he goes through and the time he commits to developing himself as a driver shows the dedication and passion he has to take his career to the next level. We developed a great relationship throughout the 2018 season and look forward to carrying that momentum into next year. I would like to thank Rinus, his family and sponsors for their commitment to Juncos Racing."
The 2019 Indy Lights season consists of 18 races on 10 tracks, opening with a doubleheader weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, from March 8-10.