Darren Keane Prepares for U.S. Rotax Grand Nationals

"Junior rookie takes on Rotax Summer Shootout and continues to log laps in preparation for August event"

19 Jul 2012

After wrapping up a very successful 2012 Florida Winter Tour with a championship in the Vortex TaG Cadet class, Keane Racing team driver Darren Keane has not let down and kept busy during the summer months in South Florida. Keane made the jump to the challenging Rotax Junior ranks after the Florida Winter Tour, and as a rookie in the class he has continued to post impressive results in every event entered. Consistently running among the frontrunners in every race, Keane has the confidence to continue with his second half of the season as he prepares for one of North America’s biggest events.

A win at the challenging Palm Beach International Raceway, a second place finish after crossing the stripe .03 seconds behind the winner in Ocala, a third place at Andersen RacePark, a fourth at the Homestead Karting Complex, and a hard fought fifth place result in Orlando were all posted by Keane in preparation for the 2012 Jet Karting Rotax Summer Shootout at Michiana Raceway Park in South Bend Indiana during the last weekend of June. The Shootout itself was preparation for one of Keane’s biggest races of the year, the U.S. Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Nationals.

“This was a very important week for us. We wanted to be able to acquire as much on-track experience as we possibly could in every aspect: mentally, physically, and mechanically,” noted Danny Villa, Team Manager.

With Keane clearly improving with every lap, every practice and every race, he has kept focused and determined, and has been busy logging massive amounts of laps. The Shootout presented a great opportunity for Keane and the team to get familiarized with the track and his competition, which promises to be fierce during the Grand Nationals in August.

Keane and the Keane Racing team would endure an intense physical week in South Bend for the Shootout, with temperatures well over 100 degrees as well as the other extreme of major afternoon rain and heavy wind gusts. Keane would post the tenth quickest lap during Saturday qualifying, and finished the prefinal an impressive second. Showing his natural talent in the final after being taken out in the first turn of the first lap, falling all the way to 17th, Keane has worked up to the sixth position by the white flag. A bold move in turn eight ended Keane’s day with no glory, but an abundance of racing experience. Sunday saw Keane qualify eighth overall and finish seventh in the prefinal. Moving up to third for several laps of the 28-lap final, tiredness would soon set in with Keane finishing a strong seventh to round out his weekend.

The team would be back on track the very next weekend racking up laps at the Homestead Karting Complex. Keane conquered with a second place finish on Saturday, July 7 and a first place result on Sunday, building up confidence and experience in his new category. The team will continue to train at local tracks in the following weeks in order to maintain focused on the task at hand, the U.S. Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Nationals at Michiana Raceway Park, August 7-11.

For more information on Darren Keane or Keane Racing, please email info@darrenkeaneracing.com or visit www.DarrenKeaneRacing.com or www.KeaneRacing.com.

Keane Racing is an authorized Rotax Service Center and proud sponsor of Team USA.