ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – The Cape Motorsports driving trio of Braden Eves, Darren Keane and Reece Gold took to the 4.1-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit in Wisconsin this past weekend and came away with strong results, including a win for Eves and a runner-up finish for Keane during a 1-2 finish in the second race of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship doubleheader on Sunday. Gold followed up with his best overall outing of the young season, posting a pair of top-10 finishes to advance to ninth in the championship standings.
“Road America, what can you say, always a wild weekend of racing,” offered Dominic and Nicholas Cape, team owners. “The first day was a bit of a struggle. Kyle’s car from last year had too much grip for our guys, so we made some set up changes overnight and got back on track, no pun intended. We’re really proud of all our guys. They just rolled up their sleeves, kept their heads down and worked through it. As always, we never give until the back door closes and Larry puts the peddle to the metal. We’re looking forward to the Mid-Ohio test, all right all right.”
Keane led the team during Friday afternoon’s Race 1 qualifying session, which came after the drivers opened the day’s action at Road America with the sole 30-minute practice session. Keane’s time of 2:10.6860 put him fourth on the grid, securing a position on the outside of the second row for the opening battle. Eves was eighth quick, just two tenths off Darren, while Gold began his weekend with a run to 15th in the timed session.
The first race of the doubleheader took place on Saturday afternoon and Keane’s bid for his first Road to Indy win was thwarted on the opening lap when congestion in the first corner resulted in contact that shuffled him down the order. Keane fell to the tail of the field, and would battle his way back valiantly to salvage a 12th place finish. Eves took up the Cape Motorsports banner and worked his way forward, eventually advancing to fourth position, chasing down the final podium step for the last quarter of the race. Gold was the ‘hard charger’ of the race, making up seven positions to score his second straight top-10 finish in eighth.
Qualifying for Race 2 took place early on Saturday morning and both Eves and Keane were back on the throttle, timing in second and fifth, respectively. Gold continued his upward trend in pace, qualifying 12th to move up two rows on the starting grid.
At the green flag for the second race of the doubleheader, Eves quickly worked his way past polesitter Hunter McElrea on lap to assume the lead and he would pace the field for the remaining 11 laps. The margin of victory was 4.590 seconds. Keane was actually the quickest driver on the circuit and posted the fastest lap of the race to finish second, earning a crucial bonus point in the process. As the youngest driver on the team at just 14 years-of-age, Gold simply continues to rack up quality result and experience and he finished a strong 10. Reece has now finished in the top-10 in the last three races.
At the halfway point of the 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship season, the squad sits atop the Team Championship standings with a slight lead over Pabst Racing. Eves maintained his position as the championship leader in the series and now holds a 41-point advantage heading to Toronto in July. Keane’s second place run on Sunday has vaulted him to fourth in the standings, while a pair of impressive top-10s for Gold means that all three Cape Motorsports drivers are now occupying positions in the top-10 of the overall point classification.
Cape Motorsports and its driver trio will be testing this week at Mid-Ohio and will then turn their focus on the challenging street circuit in Toronto, which is the next event on the schedule. The team will travel north of the border to Canada for the iconic event on July 12-14.
CAPE MOTORSPORTS – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES
USF2000 – ROUNDS 6/7 – JUNE 21-23, 2019
ROAD AMERICA – ELKHART LAKE, WI
DARREN KEANE – #2
Qualifying 1: 4th – 2:10.6860
Qualifying 2: 5th – 2:09.7755
Race 1: Start – 4th / Finish – 12th
Race 2: Start – 5th / Finish – 2nd
Driver Quote: “It was another good weekend at Road America for myself and the team. We were able to comeback from a disappointing result in Race 1 to finish 2nd in Race 2. I got some good points and my confidence is high heading into my favorite race of the year in Toronto. Huge thanks to everyone at Cape Motorsport, Ozz Negri, In2itive Media Management, and my family for their continued support.”
REECE GOLD – #3
Qualifying 1: 15th – 2:11.7387
Qualifying 2: 12th – 2:10.4308
Race 1: Start – 15th / Finish – 8th
Race 2: Start – 12th / Finish – 10th
Driver Quote: “We started off the weekend well. With being given only one practice, it was hard to get up to speed right away. I didn’t have the best qualifying sessions either. But our race pace was much better and we pushed forward and ended up with two top-10s again and some good points. Overall, I think it was a pretty good weekend as we keep improving heading to Toronto. I also want to thank Cape Motorsports for the great car and my sponsors; The Ticket Clinic and Lucas Oil School of Racing.”
BRADEN EVES – #8
Qualifying 1: 8th – 2:10.8817
Qualifying 2: 2nd – 2:09.6550
Race 1: Start – 8th / Finish – 4th
Race 2: Start – 2nd / Finish – 1st
Driver Quote: “This weekend at Road America was a great way for us to pick up momentum again after I struggled some at Lucas Oil Raceway. I consistently got faster and faster through the weekend and topped it off with a win in Race 2, which felt amazing. Cape Motorsports did an outstanding job getting the car dialed in each and every session and, by the end, a Cape Motorsports 1-2 was fantastic. Overall, it was a very good points weekend and huge thanks to MDRN Livery, Community Choice Financial, Cambox Meca and all my supporters. Bring on Toronto!”