Keane Builds on Experience at Mid-Ohio
 July 30, 2018| 
  • Team News
Darren Keane USF MO 2018 Web
Mansfield, Ohio – Darren Keane continued to build his racing resume following a triple-header weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Rounds 10, 11, and 12 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda this weekend.
The weekend started in the fast lane with an action filled first day of official on-track activity. After a trying but positive practice session, Keane delivered in the first round of qualifying with an 11th starting position for the first of three races.
Race One saw Keane take advantage at the start, gaining three spots in the first lap before the first yellow flag dropped. He continued to push his No. 36 Newman Wachs machine and set new fast laps. Unfortunately the strong run for the 18-year-old came to an early end with an incident during a restart, finishing the day in 20th.
Keane hoped lady luck was on his side for Race Two where he started 15th. Keane immediately began picking off his competition, gaining position in the first two turns of the race. After six fast laps, he pushed his way into the top ten. Just as the white flag was about to fly, he found himself pushed off course at the exit of Turn 12, ending his race in 17th.
The weekend concluded with Race Three of USF2000 competition. The grid was set based on each driver’s fastest lap in Race Two, placing Keane on the seventh row in 13th for the third and final race of the weekend. The start saw a shuffle in the order of the 24 car field but an incident on lap two forced Keane into the pits for a replacement front nose. Despite being shuffled to the back of the order Keane didn’t stop from executing fast laps and topping the leader’s lap time during the extended green period. Keane fought through the field and took the checkered flag in the 17th spot.
Keane was frustrated to not see his pace translate into strong results during the weekend, but will focus on moving forward and using the knowledge and data learned this weekend for the final two rounds of the season.
“It was a super disappointing weekend," said Keane. “I had two easy top seven finishes taken away from me in races one and two for things that I had no control over. Race Three was going well until a driver in front of me locked up and turned right into me which took my front wing off. I was hoping for a full-course yellow so I could get packed up to make up some spots but unfortunately that never came. A huge thanks to the mechanics at Newman Wachs. They had to put my car back together a couple of times this weekend and they all did a great job. Also thank you to my engineer John Hayes and Ozz Negri for all their help. I am looking forward to Portland and hope we have some better luck.”
Keane will return to USF2000 competition as the series stages the final two rounds of racing at Portland International Raceway on August 31st – September 2nd.
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