Braun and Newey reuniting in IndyCar with Coyne

Colin Braun was 17 years old when he partnered with sports car legend Jorg Bergmeister to lead Krohn Racing to its Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype championship.

Bergmeister was credited with the title due to Braun being unable to drive at two events due to his age, but the 2006 season was an important one for him as it put his talent on the map, and in the middle of the picture was their race engineer, Steve Newey (no relation to Formula 1 designer Adrian Newey).

Colin Braun (left) and Jorg Bergmeister in 2006. Jeff Braun photo

The American engineer – a veteran of CART IndyCar Series racing – and the young American driver had great chemistry, and while they soon went their own ways, they’ve been reunited some 18 years later at Dale Coyne Racing where Braun was hired to race the No. 51 Honda at the two opening races and Newey was hired last week to engineer the car for the season.


“It’s been a hot minute since me and Steve worked together,” Braun told RACER. “I haven’t been to St. Pete in a long time; I drove a front-wheel-drive Kia here last time, slightly different than the Dale Coyne Racing car. Steve and I have kept up with each other. It’s been fun both getting our arms wrapped back around for him, the IndyCar side, and getting me up to speed. It’s nice having someone you have that rapport with.”

Newey has a lifetime of race engineering experience to draw from, but very little with the Dallara DW12 chassis, and with no time to do preseason testing with the team, he and Braun are starting the first IndyCar race of 2024 with a massive deficit in knowledge about the car in its newest specification.

As expected, the No. 51 has been slowest in both sessions, but Braun and Newey have made big inroads on the deficit. Friday’s best of a 1m03.7562s tour around the 1.8-mile street circuit was lowered to a 1m02.3571s — an overnight improvement of 1.3991s — which was only 0.6329s shy of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Pietro Fittipaldi.

Despite the progress being made, the No. 51 is expected to stay towards the back of the field at St. Petersburg. The most important development for the team is the laps Braun can turn and the reconnection with Newey that produces more speed with every tour.

“Colin is a great guy and when the [Grand-Am] team owner told me I was engineering a 17-year-old kid, I wasn’t very happy,” Newey said. “But it turned out pretty good. Obviously his career has come a long way. He’s a rare talent.

“It’s a daunting racetrack here with all these walls, obviously, so we’re not going too aggressive to start out. We’ve just got to make the car a little bit more solid; the rear ends moving around a little bit too much for him. So if we can solve problem, we’ll be fine.”

Story originally appeared on Racer