By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
TORONTO — Darren Keane has been fast all throughout the first half of the 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Driving for Cape Motorsports, the Floridian has had strong runs but the trophy cabinet lacked a first place trophy. That is, until Saturday’s race on the streets of Toronto as Keane put his No. 2 Tatuus USF-17 into victory lane.
Keane bided his time behind Christian Rasmussen’s Jay Howard Driver Development No. 6. but got around the Danish driver coming into Turn 3 on Lap 11. From then on it was flashbacks to the second race of the season back in March at St. Petersburg.
A late race caution gave Rasmussen an opportunity to catch back up to Keane but a last-lap shootout wasn’t enough to help make a lead change possible.
“I was telling myself what I was going to do, when I was going to accelerate to get a gap so I wouldn’t be attacked into Turn 1,” said Keane. “Then the long straight down into 3, I had to fight super hard with Christian to keep him behind me but it was good, we finished the lap, it wasn’t like St. Pete so it was all good.”
For Keane, this was more than just a first win. It was an opportunity to put some demons to rest that had been haunting him since St. Petersburg. At the second race of the year, Keane spun while leading Rasmussen going through the final corner, taking both drivers out of the race from first and second place.
There were many emotions that day back in March and some of that carried through the next races at Indianapolis where Keane might not have driven as aggressively as he could have. However, Toronto allowed the third-year USF2000 racer the chance to put all of that aside and finally take the checkered flag first.
“I’ve done tons of thinking and went through tons of stages of doubt,” said Keane. “It wasn’t even just after St. Petersburg, that happens sometimes as a racing driver but I’m super happy to brush that all aside today and enjoy it.”
The next USF2000 race is Sunday morning at 9:00 ET.