Newman Wachs Racing's DeLuzuriaga Scores First Top-10 in Toronto
 July 17, 2018| 
  • Team News
NWR-USF2000-IndyTO-DeLuzuriaga1

TORONTO, ONT. Canada – Newman Wachs Racing headed north of the border this past weekend for a doubleheader event on the streets of Toronto with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

In a weekend that was filled with over-aggressive driving and chaos on the challenging 1.786-mile, 11-turn street circuit, series freshman Oscar DeLuzuriaga showed tremendous pace and patience to walk away with his best finishes of the season, including an impressive 10th place result in Race 2 on Sunday. Florida’s Darren Keane had incredible pace all weekend and qualified well, but he was collected by over-eager drivers in both races and his final results did not characterize his outright speed.

“I am very pleased with how the weekend went for Oscar,” offered Brian Halahan, NWR Team Manager. “He had his two best finishes of the year and accomplished his goal of getting a top-10 finish this season. In addition, he has finished every race so far, so I am very happy with his progress and his development this season. It was a very tough weekend for Darren. He had the pace to run up front, but was involved in four incidents caused by other drivers. We are looking forward to moving on to Mid-Ohio, where I feel he will be a very strong.”

DeLuzuriaga was making his Toronto debut, and he approached the opening session with caution, giving him time to get comfortable with the layout and the unique aspects of the asphalt and concrete surfaces. A UK-born, Singapore native, who now lives in Charleston, SC, improved two seconds on the polesitter pace in qualifying for Race 1 to secure a starting position on the outside of row six. For the second race of the doubleheader, he qualified 17th. Keane was eighth in the Friday morning practice session, taking the opportunity to get back up to speed after a strong outing in Toronto last year. Darren qualified a strong fifth for Race 1 and in 10th for Race 2.

The opening race of the weekend was solid for DeLuzuriaga, who kept his nose clean over the opening laps of the race and advanced to ninth after a caution period involving his teammate. Over the remainder of the 20-lap run, Oscar raced hard and was rewarded with his best finish of the year in 11th.

In contrast, things did not go well for Keane, as he was embroiled in a hard-fought battle with Jose Sierra in the early going. Sierra had moved around Keane on the outside of turn three at the end of the long Lakeshore Boulevard backstraight, and Darren gave him room in the following corner, ceding the position. However, Sierra did not return the favor one lap later when Keane performed the same move, pinching the NWR driver towards the inside turn four wall.  Sierra took the brunt of the contact, and ended up in the concrete on the outside of the corner, while Darren’s #36 NWR entry suffered right front suspension damage and was forced into the pits. The team replaced the suspension pieces, and got him back on-track to use the remainder of the race as a test session for Race 2.

In Race 2 on Sunday morning, DeLuzuriaga saw a much different race, although it began much like Race 1, as he managed to escape an opening lap skirmish to emerge himself in the sixth position. After a lengthy full course caution, Oscar raced back to the green flag fighting for positions with some of the top dogs of the USF2000 series. Each lap and each pass provided him with much needed experience and it showed that he has the pace to get better every race. Only losing four spots from the restart through to the checkered flag, Oscar walked away with his best finish of his young USF2000 career in 10th. This performance provided DeLuzuriaga with the confidence he needs as he heads to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Keane’s Race 2 experience was another rough one outside of his control, as he was again involved in a lap one incident that put him to the tail of the field on the restart. As he worked his way back forward, he was taken out by a car a lap down just before the halfway point. This race result did not show what he or his car was capable of achieving.

The team and drivers now head immediately to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for an official series test in preparation for the next stop of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires circuit.  The official schedule fires back up on July 29-31 for a tripleheader at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course. The NWR awning will be filled once again, as Ohio’s David Osborne will return to the squad for the Mid-Ohio event after electing to skip the Toronto race.

NEWMAN WACHS RACING – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES

USF2000 – ROUNDS 8-9 – JULY 13-15, 2018

INDY TORONTO – TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA

OSCAR DELUZURIAGA – USF2000 #38

Qualifying 1: 12th – 1:14.548

Qualifying 2: 17th – 1:12.967

Race 1: Start – 12th / Finish – 11th      

Race 2: Start – 17th / Finish – 10th       

Driver Quote: “Toronto is awesome! Although the track was tight and rough, I still had an absolute blast driving on it. The team did an amazing job with the car and did an amazing job supporting me through the weekend. I’m so proud of my results and I am ready to take on Mid-Ohio and finish even better. I want to thank everyone on the Newman Wachs Racing team, including our mechanics, my engineer, the team manager and my driver coach for providing me with knowledge and a fast car.”

DARREN KEANE – USF2000 #36

Qualifying 1: 5th – 1:13.165

Qualifying 2: 10th – 1:11.936

Race 1: Start – 5th / Finish – 17th     

Race 2: Start – 10th / Finish – 12th     

Driver Quote: “The weekend was a big disappointment, as luck really wasn’t on our side. I got put into the wall in Race 1 and then was taken out in Race 2 by a car that was a lap down. In both scenarios, I was fighting for top-five finishes.  We were in positions to do well, but it’s racing, and it happens. Huge thanks to all the Newman Wachs guys. All the mechanics, my engineer John Hayes, and Brian Halahan our Team Manager, have done a great job giving me a fast car. We tried our best this past weekend, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m really happy about the relationship I’m developing with John, and the car is definitely improving and we’re on the rebound heading into Mid-Ohio in two weeks, especially after this week’s test there.”     

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