Road to Indy
March 10, 2019 | 12:00 PM
Dutch teenager Rinus VeeKay scored a dramatic first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires victory this morning for Juncos Racing. VeeKay, who won last year’s Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, earning a scholarship to graduate to the top rung on the Road to Indy ladder system in 2019, made an aggressive pass on polesitter Oliver Askew on the first green-flag lap and never looked back.
Yesterday’s winner, Zachary Claman, from Montreal, Que., Canada, strengthened his early championship points lead with a second-place finish in the Indy Lights Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Cooper Tires. Englishman Toby Sowery once again played a starring role aboard the distinctive yellow BN Racing/Team Pelfrey Dallara-AER IL-15 as he finished on the podium for the second straight day.
The 18-year-old from Hoofddorp, Netherlands, also extended his impressive record on the unforgiving streets of St. Petersburg, where he is now six-for-six in terms of top-five finishes
Sadly, after the initial attempt at a start had been waved off, a clash of wheels between Askew and VeeKay at Turn Two resulted in the polesitter’s car making heavy contact with the outside retaining wall. Askew, who finished a solid third yesterday, was unhurt but his championship aspirations took a severe hit.
VeeKay immediately set about extending his lead following a lengthy cleanup, romping clear of Robert Megennis, from New York, N.Y., who had qualified third for Andretti Autosport, to the tune of three seconds inside the first four laps of green-flag racing.
Claman made a bold move around the outside in Turn One, then inched ahead for good as the pair accelerated toward Turn Two. Unfortunately for Megennis, the loss of momentum caused him to fall all the way from second to fifth, with Malukas also managing to find a way past Sowery for third.
The final four-lap run to the finish was largely uneventful. VeeKay drove conservatively to take the victory by 0.6328 of a second over Claman, while Sowery narrowly held off Malukas for third. Impressively, BN Racing has taken the early lead in the Indy Lights Team
Claman’s pair of top-two finishes assures him of a nine-point edge over VeeKay, 57-48, with Sowery just one more point adrift as the Indy Lights series heads next to its first-ever races at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, in two weeks’ time.
Content and image by Road to Indy.