Home Featured Rinus VeeKay doubles up in Pro Mazda opener in St. Petersburg

Rinus VeeKay doubles up in Pro Mazda opener in St. Petersburg

by Ida Wood

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Rinus VeeKay made it two out of two in the Pro Mazda opener at St. Petersburg, winning a race two which was restarted due to an errant flag waver.

The green flag to start the race was waved too early, catching several drivers out and resulting in Harrison Scott launching down the inside from seventh on the grid to take the lead into the first corner.

Oliver Askew followed him in second, with polesitter VeeKay dropping down the order.

The start had already been delayed due to debris from Charles Finelli’s car being found on the track on the warm up lap, and after a full course yellow the race organisers decided to red flag the race, with the restart using the original grid order.

On this occasion there were no flag issues, and VeeKay kept the lead ahead of David Malukas.

There was no room for error though, and VeeKay had BN Racing driver Malukas in his mirrors for the rest of the race.

A late caution period and restart gave Malukas a brief shot at the lead, but VeeKay has it under control and made it two wins out of two for his Pro Mazda career.

His Juncos Racing team-mate Carlos Cunha finished third, with Sting Ray Robb and Parker Thompson completing the top five.

Askew threatened Malukas on the second attempt of the start, but contact with the wall at the exit of turn 8 lost him a lot of time and several positions which he failed to make up.

He eventually finished sixth, and was closely followed by team-mate Nikita Lastochkin, Team Pelfrey pair Andres Gutierrex and Rafael Martins and DEForce Racing’s James Raven.

RP Motorsport were set for a good result, but a mistake by Laurini and front wing damage for Scott left them in 11th and 12th.

Scott’s front wing was hanging off on the left for much of the race, and the Englishman did an impressive job to maintain fourth position. It finally let go on the restart from the late caution period, with Scott just getting through turn one without hitting anybody.

Race results (25 laps)
1 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 40m22.565s
2 David Malukas BN Racing +0.5989s
3 Carlos Cunha Juncos Racing +1.7205s
4 Sting Ray Robb Team Pelfrey +2.2998s
5 Parker Thompson Exclusive Autosport +3.8184s
6 Oliver Askew Cape Motorsports +5.4408s
7 Nikita Lastochkin Cape Motorsports +6.9944s
8 Andres Gutierrez Team Pelfrey +7.4709s
9 Rafael Martins Team Pelfrey +8.5032s
10 James Raven DEForce Racing +9.3784s
11 Lodovico Laurini RP Motorsport +11.5970s
12 Harrison Scott RP Motorsport +26.6294s
13 Antonio Serravalle Exclusive Autosport +1 lap
Ret Kris Wright BN Racing
Ret Charles Finelli BN Racing/
Ret Robert Megennis Juncos Racing
Pole: VeeKay, 1m08.1747s
Fastest Lap: Cunha, 1m09.271s

Championship Standings
1 VeeKay 62? ?2 Thompson 43? ?3 Cunha 42? ?4 Malukas 39? ?5 Robb 35? ?6 Askew 33? ?7 Megennis 27? ?8 Lastochkin 27? ?9 Scott 21? ?10 Laurini 21