Newman Wachs Enjoys Successful Indy Test
 October 24, 2017| 
  • Team News
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Team fields USF-17 cars for five drivers over two-day Chris Griffis Memorial Test

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Newman Wachs Racing put five drivers through the paces in their USF2000 cars at this past weekend’s Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Chris Griffis Memorial Test, which was held on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Just over a month clear of his rookie season in the series, Boca Raton, Florida’s Darren Keane put the fruits of his development on display as he topped two of the eight sessions over the weekend, finishing in the top four each time he rolled on-track. On a high note, Keane would end the test with the fastest overall time of all the USF2000 drivers, turning a 1:25.1424 which was positive proof of both the team and Keane’s skill set. The team was also represented in the top 10 of the final overall test times by Cincinnati, Ohio’s David Osborne, who ran with the NWR crew on Sunday and posted the ninth quickest lap.

“I’m very happy with the weekend, for many reasons,” offered Brian Halahan, NWR Team Manager. “We ran Darren in the series from Indianapolis on last year, and we worked hard to give him the platform to develop his skills. This weekend really shows how far he’s come in just over five months. Darren’s increased confidence gave us a benchmark for the other four drivers that we ran, and we could not have asked much more in terms of their rapid improvement each day as well. I think this says a great deal about our team and our equipment. We’re very excited about 2018 and our ability to challenge for race wins and the championship.”

Keane was extremely pleased with the overall outcome of the weekend.

“I think my progression has been strong throughout the season, as has the team's,” Keane enthused. “I’m happy to come out of the weekend with the fastest lap. We were very consistent. I’ve shown speed throughout the year, but we haven’t been as consistently fast as we were at the test, so I’m really, really happy about that. It’s a great boost for my confidence heading into 2018. A huge thank you to the Newman Wachs guys and my engineer Alan (O’Leary). Every change we made this weekend was an improvement. I’m already looking forward to St Pete!”

The team also ran F4 driver Max Piechel and top American kart racer Jake Craig alongside Keane in their Tatuus USF-17s on Saturday, and both drivers increased their pace throughout the day. Keane ended the four-session schedule with the third fastest time of the 17 drivers who tested on Saturday, and Craig leveraged his rapidly-improving confidence and track knowledge to sit fifth at the end of the final session. For Craig, it was only his sixth day in a race car, and he quickly found more pace as he became more comfortable with the high speeds of the IMS road course. Peichel was quick out of the gate and was very consistent, spending most of the day in the top-10.

On Sunday, NWR put F1600 Championship Series graduate David Osborne and Lucas Oil Formula Race Series winner Oscar Deluzuriaga of Singapore in the team’s cars, and focused on improving both drivers’ comfort and speed.  Osborne decreased his gap to the fastest veterans all day, culminating in an extremely quick run in the final session of the weekend. David posted a 1:25.9996 that put him second on that time sheet, and the pace was also good enough for ninth overall on the weekend.  Deluzuriaga’s jump from the school cars he is familiar with to the USF-17 is a significant one, and he used the day to develop comfort and speed, eventually knocking three seconds off his fast time over the four sessions.

The team will continue its testing program in November ahead in preparations for the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.  Race seats are available for next year and drivers interested in testing with the team should contact Brian Halahan at 727-692-6052.

About Newman Wachs Racing:
Newman Wachs Racing was formed in 2005 by late actor and IndyCar team owner Paul Newman and long-time racing friend Eddie Wachs to aid the development of young drivers in Champ Car’s Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Among the drivers to go through the NWR program were JR Hildebrand, John Edwards and Simona de Silvestro. After a seven-year hiatus, Newman Wachs Racing has returned to racing, competing in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.
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