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Lindsay Brewer scores best finish of the season in final Portland race

Lindsay Brewer completed her second season in USF Pro 2000 – effectively her first full-time racing campaign – with a promising weekend at Portland International Raceway that resulted in her best finish of the season.

Lindsay Brewer, Exclusive Autosport, USF Pro 2000, 2003 Portland International Raceway
Photo credits: Lindsay Brewer

Lindsay Brewer completed her second season in USF Pro 2000 – effectively her first full-time racing campaign – with a promising weekend at Portland International Raceway that resulted in her best finish of the season.

Brewer contested a partial season in 2022, joining the series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and immediately claiming a top ten - then returned to the top-10 at Toronto, in her first street circuit experience. After her first oval race at Gateway Motorsports Park, she completed the season at Portland – before she announced her return to a second season in the third-tier of the Road to Indy Program.

Brewer – who had mainly raced a partial campaign in TC America, combined with outings in was back behind the wheel of the Skip Barber Formula Race Series in 2021 that served as her introduction to single-seaters after competing in karting at national level – tackled her second year in USF Pro 2000 in a highly competitive field that included drivers with several years of international single seater experience such as former F2 and F3 drivers.

Lindsay started her season at the St Petersburg Street Circuit, in support of the opening race of the IndyCar championship; while many more experienced drivers made mistakes on such a tricky circuit, Lindsay Brewer focused on learning the track and keeping the car clean, showing clever driving, patience and skills that resulted in a P13 finish in race 1.

She then had a more challenging round at Sebring, where she had a best finish of 15th – but at her return to a more familiar circuit like Indianapolis where she had made her debut in 2022 – had a highly positive first race marginally missing out on a top-10, before being unfortunately crashed out by a competitor in race 2.

She would score a second P12 finish at Road America - another track that she had visited before – which proved how with proper track time under her belt the Colorado-native was competing for very respectable positions in one of the series' strongest fields in recent years.

To confirm the trend, Brewer continued to equal her best finish of the season at Toronto, on yet another track where she had driven before. Despite a challenging qualifying, she made up positions in race 2, also showing better physical preparation compared to her rookie season.

After the summer break, Lindsay was back in the driving seat at Circuit of the Americas for the penultimate round – and she was soon up to speed, improving consistently session after session. If qualifying generally remains a point with room for improvement, Brewer's pace really came alive in the first race, as she continued to drive smartly, making no mistakes and seizing every opportunity to gain positions. In the first race of the weekend in Texas, Lindsay made up three places to finish in a positive P14. An unfortunate issue with the tyres resulted in a DNF in race 2, with no fault of her own.

But in a back-to-back weekend, she had the chance to keep momentum and return to another known circuit for the season finale at the 3.166 km Portland road course.

Brewer built up speed through the practice sessions and significantly reduced the gap to the top, reaching promising lap times in practice and eventually qualifying in a very positive P15 – by far her best qualifying of the season and under the one second gap to pole position.

Starting from P15 in race 1, Brewer was looking forward to capitalizing on her pace with her first top 10 of the season – but a massive accident at Portland's infamous turn 1 took out seven cars, including the #93 C4 Smart Energy-sponsored Exclusive Autosport machine.

Brewer tried to avoid the accident unfolding right in front of her, but she was hit by two more cars and was out of the race.

The team's efforts to fix the car allowed Brewer to take the start of race 2, where she would line up in P14. With everyone taking a more cautious approach through turn 1, Brewer took the outside line and slotted into P16. She then passed Salvador de Alba, who had hit trouble, before she started to chase Frankie Mossmann.

While de Alba's pace meant that he climbed back the order, Brewer clocked laps under the 1:11 mark and settled on her rhythm, then improved her personal best on lap 16. Having gained the position on Mossmann, Brewer was back in the top-15 and, with 10 laps to go, she continued to improve her lap times with consistency.

Michael d'Orlando won a lights to flag second race holding off a late charge by Nikita Johnson, as Myles Rowe's third place gained him the 2023 USF Pro 2000 title. With a consistent race, Lindsay Brewer returned to the top-15 in a race that offered little opportunities to move forward.

The final weekend of the season featured a third race to round out the 2023 campaign, which after the IndyCar Grand Prix of Portland: from P14 on the grid Brewer had a clean start and got past a couple of drivers at turn 2 thanks to a better corner exit. An early caution for debris neutralized the race on lap 3 and Brewer held on to P13 at the restart, capitalizing on issues for other competitors.

A big crash that involved Porto and Zendeli at the restart resulted in another safety car, but drivers were luckily unhurt after coming together at turn 10. The race was back underway on lap 8 and Nikita Johnson retained the top spot, while Michael d'Orlando dropped down after contact. Brewer also fell to P15, but then moved back ahead of Ricardo Escotto after the latter went deep into turn 1.

Brewer defended well, but Escotto attempted an impossible pass in turn 10 and ran into the back of the #93 machine, sending Brewer spinning across the track. The accident brought out the Full Course Yellow and, while Lindsay initially tried to stay out, she eventually had to pit with a tyre puncture. Rejoining in 14th place, Lindsay Brewer kept it on track and moved up the order as more drivers ran into trouble or made mistakes; she climbed to P11 and survived more restarts.

Lindsay completed the 2023 USF Pro 2000 season by crossing the finish line 3 seconds away from a top ten and clocking her best laps of the race in the closing stages. Brewer's P11 in race 3 at Portland was her best finish of the season, improving on three separate 12th places at Indianapolis, Road America and Toronto.

With this experience under her belt, Brewer will be looking to build upon the mileage collected in 2023, potentially returning to the Road To Indy program.



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