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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Clean start of the season for Lindsay Brewer in USF Pro 2000

"We’re looking for a bit better results as we go into the year with this extremely competitive field, but we’re coming up on some of my stronger tracks" Lindsay Brewer's start into her first full-time season in the USF Pro 2000 series was actually a solid display of smart driving, tackling one of the trickiest circuits on the calendar.

Photo credits: Lindsay Brewer

Formerly known as Indy Pro 2000, the third-tier series on the IndyCar ladder launched its 2023 season at St.Petersburg, Florida, with a strong field of 20 cars. Among them were returning drivers, international drivers coming from FIA F3 and FIA 2, as well as some of the most talented drivers coming up the ranks of the Road to Indy program. Making her return to the series was also Lindsay Brewer, 25-year-old American that contested a part-time campaign in 2022, at her first full-season in single-seaters. Brewer, who started racing late for today's formula standards – having focused on her business college education – has been preparing for her new challenge throughout the winter break. At her debut in the series last year, Brewer scored a very encouraging eighth place at the Indianapolis Road Course, and was again in the top-ten at Toronto, in her first ever race weekend on a street track. While 2022 was a year of many firsts for Brewer – and mainly served as a training ground for a full-time effort – there were plenty of positives. While she knew she had to work on her strength to wrestle the very physical Tatuus AP T-016, Brewer stepped up her training, with the aim of closing in on the pack and working her way up the order. And indeed gaps started to get smaller. The 2.897 km street circuit of St.Petersburg proved to be an extremely tricky one for all the categories racing last weekend – including for the bigger IndyNXT and for the international stars of IndyCar, with incident-filled races throughout the weekend. The section from Turn 3 to Turn 4 proved particularly challenging, causing several red flags in many sessions and limiting track time. At her first ever visit as a driver to the track, Lindsay Brewer focused on learning the track and keeping the car clean in the sole free practice session. In qualifying, the improvement was notable: the driver of the #93 Exclusive Autosport C4 Energy machine qualified in 16th place, one second off of Christian Brooks' pole position. Brewer improved by a remarkable two seconds and a half from practice. In the first race of the weekend, Brewer showed clever driving, patience and skills. While several drivers made mistakes, she always kept her cool, stayed in the pack yet avoided trouble. Brewer kept moving up the order in the hectic 25-lap race; only two cars could not complete the race – Jordan Missig, after a first lap accident, and Nicholas Monteiro, who went off with five laps to go. At the chequered flag, Lindsay Brewer crossed the finish line in P13, having gained three places and on the lead lap. The second race had two cautions, following contacts for Reece Ushijima and Yuven Sundaramoorthy early in the race. Starting from P19, Brewer had again the same goal: keep her nose clean, make up some positions and learn as much as she could, gaining crucial experience on one of the most challenging circuits of the season. And that's exactly what she did: despite a non-working transponder, Brewer made no mistakes, settled in her rhythm and came home with a 16th place finish. Although she struggled a bit more with pace, she closed in on Jackson Lee in the final laps, finishing only one second behind. “Coming out of the first round of the series at St. Petersburg, I think there were a lot of ups and downs", Brewer told us after the season opener. "On one hand, we didn’t get the results we wanted; however, we did gain some good positions, making it all the way up to the 13th position in Race 1." "On the other hand, I think it was good to just gain more experience on a street course and we did show competitive times." – she continued. "It was really cool just to be able to drive at St. Pete because growing up, I watched the NTT IndyCar Series there, and last year when I was meeting with Exclusive Autosport I didn’t even have a seat to drive for the year. So, to be able to drive the track alongside my great teammates and the best team in the paddock was really special to me." The driver of the #93 C4 Energy-sponsored machine completed every lap across two clean races, at only her second experience on a street circuit and is now looking forward to more improvements on circuits that she had previously driven on. "Obviously, we’re looking for a bit better results as we go into the year with this extremely competitive field, but we’re coming up on some of my stronger tracks", she said. "I also raced on them last year in my USF Pro 2000 car, so I’ll be able to leverage that experience to continue to learn and continue to get faster."

"I want to give a huge thank you to my team Exclusive Autosport and my sponsors C4 Energy and SurgeTrader for getting me to this point.” The 2023 USF Pro 2000 will head to Sebring International Raceway on March 25-26, hosting a championship round at the iconic circuit for the first time since 2010. Drivers, though, will return to the track after the recent pre-season testing. The series' calendar – which includes two street circuits, six road courses and one oval – will then move to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, the venue of Brewer's debut last year. Having shown positive steps forward, Brewer can certainly aim for a few more top-ten finishes on her more familiar circuits.

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