News & Media

May 15, 2017



EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT ENDURES DIFFICULT WEEKEND IN USF2000 AT INDY



 
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 13, 2017) – Exclusive Autosport marked a major milestone in its history on the May 11-13 weekend as the team participated in its first official competition event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The growing motorsports operation was competing in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, running the 2.349-mile, 14-turn road course that lies within the walls of IMS. The results that unfolded during the three-day event were not exactly what the team expects from any track outing. Despite dealing with the struggles of learning both the new USF-17 race car and the new track, the team was still able to cap the weekend in Indy with a pair of top-six finishes for both Parker Thompson and Luke Gabin in the second race of the weekend. Gabin advanced in both races despite tough qualifying performances, posting a pair of impressive top-10 finishes. Dev Gore got caught up in a pair of incidents that left him with an 18th place finish in Race 1 and a DNF in Race 2. The team had four drivers under the tent for the weekend in Indianapolis, as Canadian veteran Jayson Clunie made his USF2000 debut with Exclusive, carding a pair of top-16 finishes.

“As I look back at the weekend, it was a tough one for us to take, as we know that we’re better than this, but there were situations and on track penalties that were simply outside of our control, which is obviously very disappointing,” commented team owner Michael Duncalfe. “But I’m proud of my crew and my staff for staying focused on the target so that we could leave the weekend with a couple of solid results. I know that we’re all looking forward to getting to Road America to get right back at it. We have a pair of drivers in the top-seven in the points and our focus moving forward is to advance up the grid and the championship standings.”

In the opening race, Thompson was caught out when the initial start was waved off and the driver ahead of him locked up the brakes unexpectedly. The Canadian was forced to pit for a new front wing assembly and lost a lap, and was officially scored in 19th. Gabin started 18th and used his considerable experience to navigate through the mid-pack chaos, working his way forward to a strong 10th place finish, which was a highlight of the day. Gore was also caught up in an incident after getting brake-checked by a fellow competitor who jumped on the binders significantly early in turn one. Clunie benefitted from the false start to get a good jump at the green flag, taking a number of spots on the opening lap to slot into 15th for the run to the checker.

The whole team was focused on a recovery during Saturday morning’s Race 2, and both Thompson and Gabin attacked quickly to gain spots early.  Gore was involved in an opening lap wreck that sent three cars to the garage, ending his weekend.  Thompson had a strong opening half of the race, advancing from 10th to fourth, but an off-track excursion dropped him back to eighth.  Still on form, the Canadian clawed his way back to fourth by the checker and the solid result has put him fourth in points. Gabin completed his impressive weekend with a run up to sixth in Race 2, a 10-position advancement after starting 16th. Luke’s solid top-10 pairing of results have moved him to seventh in the championship standings. Clunie was once again on the move at the start, picking up several position, coming him with a 16th place result, having advanced a total of 15 positions in the two races.

The next event on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will be an extremely popular stop on the circuit, as the team will travel to Wisconsin at the famed Road America facility. Rounds Seven and Eight will be held as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series Kohler Grand Pix on the 4.0-mile, 14-turn road course in Elkhart Lake, WI on June 23-25.

Exclusive Autosport is thrilled to be able to partner with great companies, such as AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology (www.rethinkpaint.com), which is used on all their race cars.

DRIVER PERFORMANCE / QUOTES
COOPER TIRES USF2000 CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA
ROUNDS #5-6 – MAY 11-13, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY – INDIANAPOLIS, IN

PARKER THOMPSON - USF2000 #90
Qualifying 1: 11th – 1:25:5174
Qualifying 2: 10th – 1:25.4218
Race 1: Start – 11th / Finish – 19th  
Race 2: Start – 10th / Finish – 4th 
Driver Quote: “Well, there's no denying that it was a character building weekend for the #90 Exclusive Autosport team. After such an awesome start to the weekend in practice, unfortunately, we dropped the ball for our qualifying sessions. We had a top-three car, but in some cases strategy can be more important than outright speed. This led to the starting positions of 11th and 10th in the two races. After getting involved in an incident out of my control on the first lap of Race 1, it led to a no-points finish for my championship. I am proud to say that our team had a huge comeback though for Race 2. After starting in 10th, we pulled off a very well executed race, finishing fourth. It felt good to salvage what we could out of a tough weekend. Winning a championship isn't determined by how you perform on your best weekends, it's how you perform on the weekends when everything doesn't go your way. We will back stronger than ever in the next round at Road America.”

LUKE GABIN – USF2000 #91
Qualifying 1: 18th – 1:26.1549
Qualifying 2: 16th – 1:25.8516
Race 1: Start – 18th / Finish – 10th 
Race 2: Start – 16th / Finish – 6th 
Driver Quote: “It was a very trying weekend for me at the Indy GP. I had to start further back than I would have liked, I but was able to race towards the top-10 in both races. All in all, we found out a lot of things with the car, so I’m happy about that!”

DEV GORE - USF2000 #92
Qualifying 1: 21st – 1:26.9610
Qualifying 2: 21st – 1:26.6385
Race 1: Start – 21st / Finish – 18th 
Race 2: Start –21st / Finish – 23rd 
Driver Quote: “It was a tough week for the whole team. We worked hard all week to get up to speed and had good race pace on Saturday. Unfortunately, I suffered two DNF's after getting caught out by a driver braking nearly 200 meters too early and moving over under braking. In Race 2, I was collected in a crash after an arguably over-aggressive move on my part to capitalize on early passing opportunities put me in the wrong place at the wrong time. The results were obviously not what we wanted to see, but I'm proud of my team for all their hard work to repair my car and get me back out on-track. I would also like to thank everyone at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Holmatro Safety Team for their quick response to what potentially could have been a very bad wreck in Race 1.”

JAYSON CLUNIE - USF2000 #92
Qualifying 1: 23rd – 1:27.4109
Qualifying 2: 23rd – 1:27.4084
Race 1: Start – 23rd / Finish – 15th 
Race 2: Start –23rd / Finish – 16th 
Driver Quote:
“From the time that Michael started talking with me about USF2000, Indy was one of the events that I wanted to attend due to the great times I have had at the Speedway from my GrandAm days (IMSA). With the event being my first outing in the MRTI and the USF2000 series, I was conservative with my goals. I wanted to stay out of trouble, gain all the seat time available throughout the weekend, stay on the lead lap and be quick enough to do a bit of racing with the other competitors. A fifteenth-place finish would be like a win for me. The team and crew were great to work with, as always, with Exclusive. Through the course of the weekend, I feel that I met the goals I put in front of myself, I improved every session, maximized my time in the car, and kept inching my quick times closer to my theoretical; all really positive. It just boils down to consistency and maximizing the awesome performance of the Cooper tires, Mazda power and great platform from Tatuus.”

EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT - SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS:

Website: www.exclusiveautosport.ca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Exclusive-Autosport
Twitter: @ExclAutosport
Instagram: @ exclusiveautosport

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About Exclusive Autosport:
Exclusive Autosport (EA) is a professional racing team dedicated to the success of its drivers in open wheel formula car competition in North America.  EA operate teams in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in the United States and the Formula Tour 1600 series in Canada.  Exclusive’s drivers have secured numerous race wins, podium finishes and pole positions, as well as Rookie of the Year championships, a Team USA Scholarship and nominations for Team Canada F1600. Exclusive’s drivers are on the podium in over 80% of the races they enter.  Exclusive Management Inc., the team’s parent company, has enjoyed great success in both open wheel and sports car racing and has worked with standout drivers like Thomas McGregor, Jack Mitchell Jr., Shelby Blackstock, Gregory Liefooghe, Jayson Clunie, David Levine and Trenton Estep.  EM Inc. drivers are highly sought after in the motorsports industry.

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)








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