Keane Impresses During Mid-Ohio Charge Forward
 August 1, 2019| 
  • Team News
Keane-USF2000-MidOhio-RTIwebsite

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Florida’s Darren Keane maintains his third spot in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship after overcoming difficult qualifying sessions at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last weekend.

The Boca Raton, Florida university student hustled his #2 Cape Motorsports Tatuus USF-17 car throughout the weekend to show his true speed after red flags hindered his qualifying efforts, coming from the tail of the field on Sunday to storm through his competition up to a stellar sixth place result. In Race 2, Keane made decisive passes in three different areas of the racetrack, including both inside and outside moves at the end of Mid-Ohio long backstraight.

The weekend started on Friday morning with the only practice session of the weekend, following a full Promoters Test day on Thursday. Keane would prove to be the fastest Cape Motorsports car in the opening session with a time that put him sixth in the order. Mid-Ohio is notorious for ever-changing track conditions and after the IndyCar drivers logged their first session of the weekend, the track featured much more grip for the USF2000 paddock’s qualifying run for Race 1. The session was anything but clean, as red flags would riddle the 20-minute time window, making it difficult to get in a clear lap. Darren battled hard for open track but would have to settle for a spot on the outside of the fifth row.

The USF2000 series was the first of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires program to hit the track on Saturday morning for Qualifying 2. More red flags and traffic would provide very tough conditions in which to lay down a flying lap. After most the field was handed penalties due to a single corner yellow flag, Keane would be positioned in 17th with the motivation to show the speed that he and his car actually had.

Race 1 took place in the late afternoon on Saturday under hot and humid conditions. The competition is so tough in the USF2000 series which makes in incredibly difficult to move up, as every driver in the top-10 were turning virtually the same lap times. Darren and his teammates worked together to try to fight for the front but, in the end, the 19-year-old would finish ninth, giving him plenty of motivation to be even faster for Race 2.

On Sunday morning, ahead of the NTT IndyCar Series main event, the USF2000 series set out onto the rolling hills of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where Darren was ready to attack the field and pick off cars one-by-one. Starting last would prove to be a difficult task, but Keane immediately went to work. After two laps of patiently letting the early-race chaos subside, he started picking off cars. Turn 4 proved to be his power spot, grabbing positions almost every lap into the tough braking zone. Had he started up towards the front of the field with the lap times he was turning, Darren would have for sure been racing for a win. But on this occasion, it was all about being on the attack and gaining valuable experience. When the checkered flag flew, Keane had made up 11 positions to bring it home in the sixth spot, gaining points on the championship leader in the process. Darren cemented his third-place position in the standings, just 53 points out of the lead, with four rounds remaining and plenty of points left to grab.

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship will now move on to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the flowing 1.964-mile, 12-turn road course at Portland International Raceway. The action will start on Thursday, August 29 with an official Promoter’s Test, followed by qualifying and racing from Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1. Follow along on Darren’s social media channels and the Road To Indy TV app.

DARREN KEANE RACING – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES

USF2000 – ROUNDS 10/11 – JULY 26-28, 2019

HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO – LEXINGTON, OH

DARREN KEANE - #2

Qualifying 1: 10th – 1:22.083

Qualifying 2: 17th – 1:22.842

Race 1: Start – 10th / Finish – 9th     

Race 2: Start – 17th / Finish – 6th  

Quote: “This weekend really showed how we can overcome adversity. Unfortunately, we got caught out by red flags in both Q1 and Q2, leading to starting positions of 10th and 17th. I was able to finish 9th in Race 1, and 6th in Race 2, using the great car given to me by Cape Motorsports. I gave it all I had, and I was very determined to make up as many positions as possible. Passing 11 cars at Mid-Ohio is not an easy task. The results were not ideal, but we still secured decent points and are ready to take the fight to Portland! Huge thanks to everyone at Cape Motorsports, Ozz Negri, In2itive Media, and my parents!"

 
 
 
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