News & Media

July 16, 2017



EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT SWEEPS TORONTO WITH MAIDEN USF2000 VICTORIES



 
All-Canadian squad triumphant in home country races with Alberta’s Parker Thompson

TORONTO, ONTARIO (July 16, 2017) – Saskatoon, SK’s Exclusive Autosport is competing in its first season in the ultra-tough Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and they could not have asked for a better location for their breakout event.  After working diligently through the opening half of the season to develop their set-ups and come up to speed on the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, the team was victorious on home soil, triumphantly winning both ends of the doubleheader with their star Canadian driver Parker Thompson at the Toronto Indy event.  Red Deer, Alberta’s Thompson dominated the opening race of the weekend on the 1.749-mile, 11-turn temporary street course set around Exhibition Place, qualifying on the pole and then managing his gap to earn a 0.873-second win.  On Sunday, Parker and the team controlled their early pace in Race 2, identifying a feisty battle for the lead that was displaying signs of potential chaos. Thompson hung back in fourth, biding his time, and then took advantage of the anticipated contact between the leaders to slip through to the point and his second win of the weekend.  Thompson’s teammates Jayson Clunie and Dev Gore both delivered excellent performances as well, improving their pace all weekend.  The duo posted a combined three top-10 finishes in the two races.

“Toronto was a massive weekend for the team, and I’m proud of them after they came together following our struggles on the oval at Iowa Speedway last weekend,” admitted Exclusive Autosport owner Michael Duncalfe. “We re-focused and got behind our drivers, and Parker showed his experience and poise to lead our drivers and crew forward.  His performance on Saturday was tremendous, and it injected such confidence in the team. Sunday was a perfect race, as we were on the radio making sure that Parker knew how crazy it was getting up front. He was patient and stayed out of trouble, and took the win.  We couldn’t have asked for anything more from Jayson and Dev. It was their first time on the track in Toronto in USF2000, they continued to get quicker, and they finished both races in the top-12.”

Thompson was quick out of the gate, topping the practice time sheet on Friday morning before earning his second pole position of the year with a great run in afternoon qualifying for Race 1. With their first laps on the track now under their belts, Clunie and Gore improved significantly.  Clunie went over 1.5 seconds faster to sit 15th on the grid, just ahead of Gore, who turned the wick up by almost a second.  On a technical and challenging track like Toronto, which changes with every session, steady improvement of pace is the perfect approach. Pushing too hard is ill-advised, considering the concrete walls that line the track and punish mistakes.

Thompson turned in a flawless performance in the opening race, held on Saturday afternoon, which went green to checker without issue.  Parker managed the gap back to point leader Oliver Askew, laying down a quicker lap when needed to extend the advantage.  The win was emotional for Parker and the team, giving them their first series victory in the best place possible.  Clunie again improved his pace and stayed out of trouble as others found the wall, and he was rewarded with a ninth-place finish, his best result of the year. Gore tapped the wall while attempting to catch the field after taking evasive maneuvers to miss an incident. The resulting damage ended his race early.


After qualifying fourth in a dynamic qualifying session for Race 2, Thompson settled into line at the start of the second event, running behind what quickly developed into a heated battle for the lead between Alex Baron and David Malukas.  Thompson displayed patience in backing off a little, having sized up the situation ahead of him.  As expected, the leader collected each other on the exit of turn three and pulled point leader Oliver Askew into the carnage, while Thompson slipped through to assume the lead.  Parker managed the restart perfectly and went on to a 0.637-second win.

Clunie and Gore were embroiled in a thrilling battle with the DE Force drivers for the final positions in the top-10.  Gore was running ninth when he was contacted from behind in the high-speed right-hand turn two that leads onto the backstraight.  Miraculously, Dev saved the car and was able to continue, finishing tenth, as Clunie crossed the line in ninth.

The sweep of the main events has thrust Thompson back into the championship chase, as he currently sits third, 75 points out of the lead.  Momentum is on the team side, and they are all focused on continuing this level of performance in the final two weekends of the year. The next event on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is just over a week away, on July 27-30 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Mansfield, Ohio.

Exclusive Autosport is pleased 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
EVENT #6 – JULY 15-17, 2017
TORONTO INDY – TORONTO, ONTARIO

PARKER THOMPSON - USF2000 #90
Qualifying 1: 1st – 1:12.816
Qualifying 2: 4th – 1:12.452 
Race 1: Start – 1st / Finish – 1st 
Race 2: Start – 4th / Finish – 1st  
Driver Quote: “Nothing has ever felt better in my career than getting to hold the red and white maple leaf high in victory lane at my country’s only IndyCar race. The fact that I got to do it twice in one weekend makes this something I will never forget for the rest of my life. Getting these two wins for Exclusive Autosport is also a huge weight off my shoulders. It feels amazing to get Michael Duncalfe and his team some dominant victories, because they deserve them. None of this would be possible without the dedicated crew that forms Exclusive Autosport! I told the boys in black in red, if we stuck to perfecting the process, wins would come our way! This team has been 100% behind me all year, which makes this weekend even more special. Lastly, a huge thanks to my family, supporters, fans and sponsors. They have been with me through thick and thin this year, so I'm ecstatic I could prove them right on such a big weekend for us all. I owe some much to TriQuest NDT, Openhwy and Badlands Motorsports Resort.”

DEV GORE - USF2000 #92
Qualifying 1: 16th – 1:15.879
Qualifying 2: 15th – 1:14.702
Race 1: Start – 16th / Finish – 12th 
Race 2: Start – 15th / Finish – 10th  
Driver Quote: “Toronto was a up and down weekend. Firstly, I would like to congratulate Parker and the team for an amazing weekend. Results were good across the board, unfortunately, for myself, contact with the wall in Race 1 and being hit in Race 2 both ended the potential to grab the results we were capable of. I’m looking forward to returning to the slightly more controlled environment of an established track to see where we really match up against the rest of the field.”

JAYSON CLUNIE - USF2000 #93
Qualifying 1: 15th – 1:15.842
Qualifying 2: 16th – 1:16.116
Race 1: Start – 15th / Finish – 9th 
Race 2: Start – 16th / Finish – 9th 
Driver Quote: “Practice and qualifying were a ton of fun. Toronto has a great atmosphere and I feel very proud to be a driver in this series and a CANADIAN! More learning and improving was again the theme. It was a smaller field this weekend, but it seems to be full of great talent. I keep moving up in the positions and I couldn't be happier to finish ninth on Saturday and again on Sunday. It was my first top-10 in the series on home soil! Thanks to EA, Michael, Kimberly, MRTI the other drivers for good racing!

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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