Ridgetown man to work as Felix Rosenqvist’s Indy 500 spotter

(Photo submitted by Jeff Goetlaer)

At speeds up to 240 miles per hour, Indianapolis 500 drivers need an extra pair of eyes to help them navigate the track.

That’s where Jeff Gotelaer, a local resident of Ridgetown, steps in.

His job is to relay information to the driver and alert them of anything happening on the track.

Each car in the race is required to have multiple spotters. They are typically stationed above Turns 1 and 3, where most passes are executed at the end of long straightaways.

Gotelaer will be spotting for Felix Rosenqvist, a Swedish professional racing driver who currently drives the No. 6 Chevrolet for Arrow McLaren in the NTT IndyCar Series, at the Indy 500 this weekend.

(Photo submitted by Jeff Goetlaer)

“You can’t see the entire track,” said Gotelaer. “So, I am his [the driver’s] eyes and ears for my side of the track and I look out for any debris or accidents, and watch for what other drivers are doing.”

Gotelaer has been working as a spotter for some of the sport’s biggest races for more than two decades.

“I was born into racing,” said Gotelaer. “My father was a track champion at the old Ridge Raceway in South Buxton. I have always been involved in racing in one way or another.”

Gotelaersaid a lot of his previous work has involved NASCAR in both Canada and the U.S.

“I just started doing Indy cars the last couple of years,” said Gotelaer. “It was kind of just networking through the NASCAR spotters and I was asked to do the 500 a couple of years ago with James Hinchcliffe.”

The race is set to get underway on Sunday, May 28 starting at 1:45 p.m.