NA-F2000: Asaro beaming despite rough Homestead weekend

Billy Asaro is full of confidence today, despite a disappointingly short race yesterday at Homestead, Florida. The nineteen-year-old resident of Unionville, Ontario, completed little more than half a lap in the US Formula 2000 (USF2000) season ...

Billy Asaro is full of confidence today, despite a disappointingly short race yesterday at Homestead, Florida. The nineteen-year-old resident of Unionville, Ontario, completed little more than half a lap in the US Formula 2000 (USF2000) season opener before a car slid into the back of his Key Motorsport machine and knocked him out of the race with a rear wheel dangling loose.

The long walk back to the pits was a bitter finish to what had been a taunting weekend for the talented young racer. His team had spent two days searching for a mysterious problem that relegated his car to near the bottom of the time sheets. Finally, after qualifying 29th in a very competitive field of 31 cars, the problem was traced to a malfunctioning throttle linkage.

"I'm so glad they finally found the problem," Billy said before the race. "On Thursday, we thought the brakes were dragging, but the team replaced the whole system and we still had problems on Friday. The car handled great, but there was no acceleration. Now that everything is fixed I know we're going to be fast!"

And, fast he was. Before the half-way point of the first lap around the 3.5km (2.2 mile) road course, the University of Toronto student had carved his way into the top half of the field and would likely have been in the top ten by the completion of the first lap. The charge came to an abrupt end, however, when his car was hit from behind by a competitor who missed his braking point.

"The car was amazing and I was moving up really quickly," Billy recalled later. "I was going to pass a car at the hairpin, but he blocked me. Then I saw a car in my mirrors. There was smoke coming off all the tires and I knew it wasn't going to slow down in time. The hit wasn't hard, but it was just enough to break the upright on the rear-left and I was finished."

Despite the disappointing result, Asaro is very happy with the Key Motorsport team and is highly confident of good results this year.

"Even though I only drove half a lap, that car felt dialed in," he said. "That was the best part of the weekend because I'm sure the car was as good the ones that finished at the front.

"The team was just incredible. I'm really impressed with how hard the Key Motorsport crew works. Like me, they are totally committed to winning. I think we will make a potent combination this year and will share many victories before the end of the season. Thanks to everyone at Key Motorsport, I'm really looking forward to the next race."

The USF2000 series returns to Homestead April 7-8 for a double race weekend on a different configuration of the circuit.

-Mark Jackson

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Billy Asaro