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Veekay confident: 'Going to the hairdresser, have to look beautiful on the podium'

Veekay confident: 'Going to the hairdresser, have to look beautiful on the podium'

27-05-2021 15:57 Last update: 16:34
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GPblog.com

Rinus van Kalmthout - Veekay for the American fans - has become a real star in America. The Dutch driver recently won his first IndyCar race and will start third in the Indy 500 on Sunday.

Second Dutchman

Van Kalmthout is the second Dutchman to win an IndyCar race after Arie Luyendijk. Two weeks ago the 20-year old Veekay won the race in Indianapolis, just ahead of Romain Grosjean who had started from pole position. The victory turned Van Kalmthout's life upside down.

During a press conference, Van Kalmthout looked back on the weekend of his victory with among others GPBlog.com. The Dutchman then qualified seventh. "I myself was not entirely satisfied with my own qualifying. I walked around there with all the IndyCar fans around me and nobody recognized me. I said 'I should drive so bad more often because then nobody recognizes me.'"

Wall of fans

The next day he won the race and everything became different. "My life did change mega of course," Veekay says. "I can't walk the streets normally here anymore. When I walk out of the pit lane there is a wall of fans waiting for autographs and photos. That's really nice and I'm glad the fans can come back in at all." Last year, fans were not allowed to attend the event due to the corona crisis. "Then it was like a test day that got out of hand. The atmosphere is ten times better now."

Lots of commitments

The Indy 500, which will be held this Sunday, is a huge event and Veekay, therefore, has many obligations in the coming days. "I have many meetings and moments with radio and TV interviews. During the Indy500Festival, I'll be driving in a big parade in the back of a Chevrolet Camaro. That's really part of the IndyCar. A lot of people come out here. It's a lot of fun."

Earlier this week, Van Kalmthout qualified third for the Indy 500, behind Scott Dixon and Colton Herta. Takuma Sato, last year's winner, qualified only fifteenth. Veekay himself is at least confident of a good classification. "I'm going to get a haircut of course, because I have to look nice on the podium".

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