By Steve Wittich

Good morning from TSO Ladder’s coverage of the Chris Griffis Memorial Test. We’ll make every effort to send an update after each of the nine practice sessions today and also add a note about each team and their drivers throughout the next two days.

Darren Keane (Cape Motorsports) with a lap of 85.013 seconds led the first Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda practice session at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test.

That lap which is under the race record lap set by Oliver Askew during the INDYCAR Grand Prix weekend earlier this year, and was only six-hundredths ahead of Hunter McElrea (Pabst Racing).

Rounding out the top five, and all within one second of Keane were: Alex Baron (Legacy Autosport), Tyler O’Connor (Cape Motorsports) and Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing).

The first of six Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda practice sessions at the Eighth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test got underway under overcast skies and cool temperatures. The 2018 test is the sixth year that the test is held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

A total of 13 drivers representing six teams turned laps during the first of three Saturday sessions.

The entire session ran under green flag conditions with the baker’s dozen drivers turning a total of 299 laps.

Cape Motorsports with Keane, O’Connor and Colin Kaminsky.

Tyler O’Connor and Darren Keane testing with Cape Motorsports at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test (crappy photo by Steve)

Darren Keane, who led this test last year with Newman Wachs Racing racing, is one of three drivers testing for the Dominic and Nicholas Cape led Cape Motorsports.

Keane, who is coached by Ozz Negri, took part in a dozen USF2000 races this season, collecting one podium, two top fives, and four top 10 finishes.

The St. Petersburg, Fla. based team recently wrapped up their eighth USF2000 drivers championship with Kyle Kirkwood and announced that they would be dropping the Pro Mazda portion of their program to concentrate running a three-car USF2000 squad.

Keane, from Deerfield Beach, Fla. is joined today by Tyler O’Connor.

O’Connor, a Team USA Scholarship finalist, just missed out on the F1600 Formula F Championship by ten points after a 21-race season.

The 21-year-old led the series with seven wins, 13 podiums and eight quickest laps of the race, but fell just short of the championship after suffering some mechanical gremlins. The New Hartford, Conn. driver, only started his racing cars the previous season where he finished third in the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series.

Kaminsky will be joining O’Connor tomorrow, while Keane moves on to test Pro Mazda Presented By Cooper Tire with RP Motorsport.

Kaminsky contested the 2018 USF2000 season with DEForce Racing collecting one top five and five top ten finishes on the way to a tenth place finish in the championship.

Saturday – USF2000 – Chris Griffis Memorial Test session #1

1 2 Darren Keane Cape Motorsports 1:25.013 –.—- 25
2 22 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 1:25.075 0.0618 25
3 7 Alex Baron Legacy Autosport 1:25.840 0.8270 14
4 3 Tyler O’Connor Cape Motorsports 1:25.939 0.9263 25
5 21 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 1:25.977 0.9643 25
6 77 Andre Castro Legacy Autosport 1:26.031 1.0183 22
7 6 Zach Holden Jay Howard Driver Development 1:26.079 1.0666 22
8 27 James Raven DEForce Racing 1:26.151 1.1384 24
9 24 Logan Cusson Pabst Racing 1:26.399 1.3865 26
10 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1:27.001 1.9878 22
11 12 Francisco Porto DEForce Racing 1:27.271 2.2581 20
12 11 Ryan Bjerke DEForce Racing 1:27.477 2.4640 25
13 5 Christian Bogle Jay Howard Driver Development 1:28.139 3.1266 24

USF2000 is back on track at noon and 3:15 PM for 45 minutes