Newman Wachs Racing Earns Season Opening Podium
 March 14, 2018| 
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NWR StP 2018 Recap

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. - Newman Wachs Racing kicked off the 2018 season this past weekend on the challenging street circuit of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, taking on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. The event was deemed an overall success, highlighted by Darren Keane’s third place podium finish in Race 1, and capped with all three drivers finishing every single on-track session.

Keane backed up his podium on Saturday with a run to 12th on Sunday, positioning him sixth in the championship standings to start the year. Series rookies David Osborne and Oscar DeLuzuriaga were focused on gaining valuable experience by avoiding costly mistakes that can drastically limit track time. Osborne carded a pair of 18th place finishes while DeLuzuriaga finished in the top-20 in both races.

“Overall, I’m very happy with how the weekend went for the team and our drivers,” offered Brian Halahan, NWR Team Manager. “We want to be fighting for race wins, but St. Petersburg is a place where it can get ugly very quickly. Darren handled the weekend extremely well and I think this was a big start for him, getting on the podium for the first time. As for David and Oscar, they kept their noses clean, finished every session and went quicker every time they rolled onto the track. As rookies, we can’t ask for much more that. I’m excited to get to Indy, because the track layout will allow them to hang it out much more, and I think we’ll see their true speed.”

Keane led the team in qualifying, posting the eighth quickest time for Race 1 and the 15th fastest for Race 2.  The Boca Raton, Florida resident avoided the first turn carnage to start Saturday’s 20-lap race, working his way quickly into the top-five before finishing a strong third.  The result was the 18-year-old’s first MRTI podium finish.  After qualifying deeper in the field, Keane ran a strong race on Sunday, but was held up by Manuel Cabrera for the first half of the race while running 15th. He eventually made his way by and set sail for those in front of him, and by the time the checkered flag was displayed to end the longer 25-lap race, he has advanced to 12th.  The solid pairing of finishes has placed Keane in the sixth position in the championship standings, just seven points out of third.

Osborne’s focus heading into the opening weekend was to log as much seat time as possible, and the unforgiving nature of St. Petersburg’s concrete wall lined circuit rewards patience. David did not overdrive his #37 NWR USF-17, and found more speed in event session. After qualifying 20th and 21st in the two sessions, he proceeded to improve his pace and stay out of trouble to garner a pair of 18th place finishes.

DeLuzuriaga followed Osborne’s lead and the direction of his engineers and team driver coach Tom Dyer, completing every session without coming anywhere near the walls. Oscar improved his pace through all five on-track sessions, finishing 20th in the opening race and 19th in the second race, which was the final event of the weekend. This was a tremendous outing for the series rookie.

The team and its drivers now have a one-month break before returning to the track at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 10-12. All three drivers have experience on the IMS road course, having participated in the Chris Griffis Memorial Test last October. Keane has additional track experience from last year’s USF2000 race at the facility, while Osborne scored a pair of top-five finishes in the F1600 Championship Series event at IMS last June.


USF2000 – ROUNDS 1/2 – MARCH 9-11, 2018



Qualifying 1: 5th – 1:12.964

Qualifying 2: 15th – 1:13.420

Race 1: Start – 5th / Finish – 3rd  

Race 2: Start – 15th / Finish – 12th

Driver Quote: “I’m happy with how the weekend went, and I’m really happy to get my first podium in the series, especially starting from eighth, so I think that was pretty cool. It’s also great for the team as well. It’s their first podium in the series and first in a long time. So, in that sense, it was really positive. I think that we definitely need to work on the car a little more, especially consistency-wise, coming up to Indy. Overall, we all did a really good job and all I’m happy to see that all of our hard work in the off-season paid off and we’re ready to hit hard at Indy. Huge thanks to Newman Wachs Racing, Ozz Negri, my parents and my sister for their constant support and the Mazda Road to Indy for putting on a great series.”


Qualifying 1: 20th – 1:14.772

Qualifying 2: 21st – 1:14.255  

Race 1: Start – 20th / Finish – 18th

Race 2: Start – 21st / Finish – 18th

Driver Quote: “This weekend was all about getting off on the right foot. For me, that meant continuing to develop my rapport with Newman Wachs Racing and get out of St. Petersburg without any damage. In that sense, mission accomplished. I'm excited to get back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a track that I'm familiar with and on which I've been fast, so in Indianapolis, be looking for a whole different side of the #37 Newman Wachs racing machine.”


Qualifying 1: 22nd – 1:16.182

Qualifying 2: 25th – 1:15.694

Race 1: Start – 22nd / Finish – 20th

Race 2: Start – 25th / Finish – 19th

Driver Quote: “I am proud of how I performed. I made it through every session and improved all the time. The Newman Wachs Racing team built a great car, and they were very professional and supportive throughout the weekend. I'm super excited for Indy and I can't wait to get there and go racing.”

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