Keane Scores First Career USF2000 Win on the Streets of Toronto
 July 18, 2019| 
  • Team News
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American driver adds runner-up finish on Sunday to fuel momentum for remaining 2019 races
TORONTO, ON, CANADA – American Darren Keane secured his position in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship standings by scoring his first career Road to Indy win, following up the triumph with a second-place finish on Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto. The Boca Raton, Florida student hustled his #2 Cape Motorsports Tatuus USF-17 car to the lead at the midway point of the 20-lap opening race on Saturday afternoon and backed it up on Sunday with another podium in the longer 25-lap battle. The combination of these finishes resulted in a huge net points gain on the championship leader, solidifying his position in third with a focus on gaining more ground at the next event.
The weekend would kick off on Friday morning with the one and only 30-minute practice session for the USF2000 drivers. However, three separate incidents meant that the practice was halted under red flag conditions for the majority of the time window. Even with the limited running, Darren was able to find speed, topping the chart of the 17-car field. Practice was followed by qualifying for Race 1 that afternoon. Once again, the session was riddled with red flags, but Keane was still on pace and eventually qualified second for the opening race of the doubleheader.
The USF2000 series was the first to hit the track bright and early on Saturday morning for Qualifying 2. This time, thankfully, all of the drivers were able to lay down numerous laps and Darren took the opportunity to back up his practice speeds by capturing the pole for Race 2.
Race 1 took place later in the afternoon under sunny blue skies. Keane, 19, settled into the second position behind Christian Rasmussen after the green flag dropped and applied constant pressure in an effort to force the leader into a mistake. Just after the halfway mark, Keane’s unrelenting attack provided an opportunity as he pushed his competition to completely overshoot turn three at the end of the backstraight to take over the lead. Darren proceeded to pull away, setting the fastest lap of the race, until a late full-course caution resulted in a last-lap green flag shootout. The University of Florida mechanical engineering student was able to hold off the pressure and maintain his lead, pulling off his first career win in the 2019 season.
On Sunday morning, ahead of the NTT IndyCar Series main event, Darren rolled off the grid from the pole position for Race 2, leading the 17-car field to the green flag. After a bit of a chaotic start in which he avoided potential contact, he was shuffled back to the third position. A couple of laps after the second full-course caution, Darren got a run on second-place Colin Kaminsky and completed an amazing maneuver to the inside of the hardest braking zone at the end of the long Lakeshore Boulevard backstraight to beat Kaminsky to the apex of Turn 4. This battle allowed Rasmussen to pull away slightly, although a third full-course caution gave Keane one last chance to pounce. Unfortunately, it was so late in the race that Darren was afforded only a one-lap dash that he was not able to capitalize on. Keane would finish strongly in the second spot, capturing another fast lap of the race, resulting in a bounty of points. This weekend marks his third straight fastest race lap of the season. Keane left Toronto sitting third in the championship, just 12 points out of second.
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship will now move on to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the challenging 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. Unlike years past, which featured three races, this year’s stop will include a normal doubleheader weekend. The action will start on Thursday, July 25 with an official Promoter’s Test, followed by qualifying and racing from Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28. Follow along on Darren’s social media channels and the Road To Indy TV app.
USF2000 – ROUNDS 8/9 – JULY 12-14, 2019
Qualifying 1: 2nd – 1:13.758
Qualifying 2: 1st – 1:11.746
Race 1: Start – 2nd / Finish – 1st   
Race 2: Start – 1st / Finish – 2nd 

Quote: “It was an amazing weekend for me and Cape Motorsports in Toronto. I was very happy to get two clean finishes and two great results. Coming away with a win is an amazing feeling, and I feel extremely motivated to get some more in the coming races. I’m really looking forward to Mid-Ohio, as the track is constantly changing, and it completely levels out the playing field. A huge thanks to Ozz Negri - we’ve been working together for three years now - and I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done. Another big thanks to my parents, Cape Motorsports, and In2itive Media Management for all their help!”

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