Team Release:

Mundelein, IL (January 20, 2017) – Newman Wachs Racing announced today the signing of 18-year old racer Andre Castro for the upcoming season.

“I am very happy to say that we have locked down our second driver today” said Team Manager, Brian Halahan. “We ran Andre in our first test at Indy last October, and we had some success with him right from the start. He was fast and he worked well with the team, so I feel we can build on that and have him running strong as soon as he is back in the Newman Wachs car.  I think Andre and Dakota will make good teammates and push each other to the front.”

Castro, who turned 18 just a few weeks ago, was born in New York City, but his origins are Colombian. He speaks both English and Spanish, as his parents are immigrants from Colombia. He attends Stuyvesant High School, a school for gifted students.

The young driver began racing go-karts at the age of seven, and won his very first race. He raced go-karts until 2016, when he started racing cars accumulating three wins, six poles, and ten podiums in the Skip Barber Championship Series. He was also nominated for the Team USA Scholarship after only three races in a car, and made it to the finalist stage.

“I am thrilled to be a part of Newman Wachs’ return to open-wheel racing, said Castro. After working with the team closely in the weeks leading up to the Chris Griffis Memorial test at Indy last fall, I saw that the team was incredibly serious about coming back and winning straight out of the gate. At the test itself, I was able to work with engineer Alan O’Leary extremely well, and by the end of the final day, me, a rookie driver and a returning team, together, we managed to be on top of the time sheets.”

“With all the extensive behind-the-scenes work and fine-tuning that Brian and the whole team have undertaken since then, I have no doubt that we will be able to compete for wins from the very first race in St. Petersburg, Castro added. I know I have a steep learning curve ahead of me, but I look forward to the challenge and I cannot wait to get going.”

Team engineer, Alan O’Leary shared his thoughts about the young rookie: “I am super excited to have Andre as part of our team. We were very impressed with how he performed at the Indy test, and pairing him with Dakota will be fantastic. I can’t wait to get them both on track working together. André will be in the #37 car, as Dakota’s car will carry the number 36.”

TSO Ladder Notes from Steve:

  • Castro is the ninth driver confirmed for the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda season, joining: Moises de la Vara (DEForce Racing), Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), Rinus VK (Carlin/Benik), Devin Wojcik (ArmsUp Motorsports), Chandler Horton (RJB Motorsports), Robert Megennis (Team Pelfrey), and Parker Thompson (Exclusive Autosport).
  • Castro tested with the team at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October, and got up to speed quickly. The 18 year-old was only in the car on the second day, but was able to turn the seventh quickest time overall, and was the quickest driver in the final practice session. 
  • Castro joins Sting Ray Robb as the second announced USF2000 driver that was awarded a 2015 Skip Barber Race Series Karts to Cars Scholarship.
  • TSO would be surprised if we didn’t see one more entry from Newman Wachs Racing. When we chatted with Team Manager, Brian Halahan at PRI in December, he indicated that they would like to have three cars in Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda. The Mundelein, Illinois based team purchased four USF-17 chassis, but will build up the fourth chassis as Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire test car when those parts become available in the spring. 
  • You can follow Castro on the following social media platforms: Twitter – Instagram – Facebook