The Dutch driver will start the race from second

Veekay dreams of winning Indy 500: 'The race that changes your life'


Interview Rinus van Kalmthout on Indy500
22 May 2023 at 19:12
Last update 22 May 2023 at 19:50
  • Ludo van Denderen

Rinus van Kalmthout qualified in second place for the Indy500, after missing out on pole position by just 0.006mph in average speed. The Dutchman, best known in America as VeeKay, will start the race from second position, just behind Alex Palou. GPblog spoke to the Dutchman a day after his qualifying.

It was nail-biting for the fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In the Fast Six, Palou set the fastest average speed. Then it was up to VeeKay to beat the Spaniard, McLaren's reserve driver, from first place. With an average of 235.019mph, Rinus came close to Palou on the first lap. He was even faster than the 2021 IndyCar champion on the second lap. With a 2:33.444 on the final lap, the Dutchman reached an average of 234.211mph.

Some favourites

When GPblog asked VeeKay about the favourites for next Sunday's race, he came up with the following list: "First of all, I have to name myself. I think Alex Palou, who is always right there. Chip Ganassi's team always has good cars. And I think all the guys from McLaren will push hard. They were really fast. They are pretty close as a team. They can work together [in the race]. There are always some cars that are a step better than the rest. And I think that's this group of guys."

He continued: "Well, it's the biggest thing you can accomplish in IndyCar Racing, I think, in all of motorsports. It's the race that changes your life, so I really want to win this race. It is my biggest dream. So I will do everything I can to win that race."

VeeKay also started second last season, but the race was an unsuccessful adventure for him. He crashed his Ed Carpenter Racing car into the wall early in the race. In 2021, the Dutchman finished eighth, his best result to date. On his debut in '20, he received a time penalty after an incident in the pit lane. VeeKay is confident he can improve this season. Asked why people should watch on Sunday, he said: "You never know who's going to win. That's one thing. You have to watch until the end to see who wins. You never know who's going to win. You never know it ahead [of time]. It's a very exciting race. Hopefully, I can make it a bit more exciting."

A more detailed interview with VeeKay will follow on this site this week.