Formula Tour 1600: Exclusive Autosport finished with two wins (Thomas McGregor), two second place finishes (Jack Mitchell Jr.) and two pole positions
In their first year of operation, Exclusive Autosport (The Canadian Factory Spectrum Team, owned by Exclusive Management Inc.) dominated the podium, and thrilled fans, at the prestigious Formula Tour 1600 event at the F1 Grand Prix of Canada this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
The team finished with two wins (Thomas McGregor), two second place finishes (Jack Mitchell Jr.) and two pole positions.
The entire F1600 field (36 cars in total) put on two incredible showings for the hundreds of thousands of eager F1 fans, however, all eyes were on the Exclusive Autosport pair of McGregor and Mitchell Jr. as they made their way around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The side-by-side racing, the incredible passing and the heated battles of both Saturday and Sunday’s races were described as “the races of the weekend” by one fan.
Thomas McGregor (21, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) in the #93 Exclusive Management Inc. / Dairy Queen Spectrum Honda won each of the back-to-back races (Saturday and Sunday) and was Saturday’s pole sitter. The wins this weekend were Thomas’ first since 2011.
“It feels great to be back on the podium, especially here at the F1 Grand Prix of Canada. These wins are for the team (Exclusive Autosport). For Michael Duncalfe , for Remi Lanteigne, for the crew and for my family.
Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have to say congratulations to my teammate Jack Mitchell Jr.. He is an incredibly talented driver and we sure battled hard the last two days. Our Spectrum Honda’s were incredible this weekend. I actually brushed the wall today (Sunday).
I thought that would end my day, but the Spectrum held tough. I was able to regain my composure and push to a first place finish. Thank you also to our partners, Exclusive Management Inc., Dairy Queen, Sparco, Honda Performance Development and Spectrum,” said an elated Thomas McGregor after Sunday’s win.
Jack Mitchell Jr. (17, Clarendon Hills, Illinois) in the #90 Exclusive Management Inc. / Exclusive Autosport Spectrum Honda finished second in both races and started Sunday’s race from the pole position as he posted the fastest lap in race one Saturday. Jack put in an unbelievable effort all weekend.
He and McGregor swapped places for the lead numerous times throughout Saturday and Sunday’s contests. Mitchell Jr. is second (unofficial) in the Formula Tour 1600 Championship.
“The race went really well today (Sunday). I put down the fastest lap Saturday so was able to start from the pole position beside my teammate Thomas McGregor. I led some of the race until a full course caution brought out the safety car. I took the lead and battled with Thomas.
He took the checkered and I finished second – great points for the weekend. A huge thanks to Exclusive Autosport, Spectrum, Sparco, Honda, The Duncalfe’s and the crew for making it all happen for us this weekend. Looking forward to the next race at iCAR,” said Jack Mitchell Jr.
Tristan DeGrand (17, St. Louis, Missouri) in the #92 Pro Am Golf USA / Exclusive Autosport Spectrum Honda put in a brilliant drive Sunday when he skillfully navigated from 18th position up to 4th, narrowly missing the podium by a mere tenth of a second behind competitor Jesse Lazare.
DeGrand suffered some bad luck when he was hit from behind during Saturday’s race. If it wouldn’t have been for that he would have been poised for two podium positions. Tristan showed his resilience Sunday, bouncing back from Saturday’s devastation by putting in such an incredible performance.
“Yesterday (Saturday) I had the pace I think in the race, but had some bad luck with the contact. With the track conditions I wasn’t able to get a clean lap (to position us well for Sunday’s race). We had to start somewhat towards the back of the pack. I knew we had the pace to get up there, maybe top ten or top five. I gave it all I had and things kind of went my way.
I tried to make things happen. I was lucky, I came out fourth. I really couldn’t be happier. The team, after the wreck yesterday, did everything they could and worked through the night to get me back out there today. I really can’t thank them enough. This one was for them and I really owed it to them to put the car out there.
I really wished I would’ve got third and could have seen a one, two, three EA podium in Montreal, but you know fourth is a good position to take from it. This weekend was another really great learning experience. I feel a lot more comfortable passing in the cars now so hopefully in the future it will be beneficial,” said DeGrand.
Max Hanratty (19, Hartland ,Wisconsin) stunned the entire field with a blazing qualifying performance Friday, qualifying in a career best P6, in front of three current USF2000 Championship drivers. Hanratty had never seen Circuit Gilles Villeneuve prior to Friday’s session and has only been in a race car for 10 months.
He dazzled his partners, SynerComm Inc., who were in attendance as VIP guests for the weekend. Saturday’s race was cut short for Hanratty after a run in with the concrete wall.
He, however rebounded and brought his #92 SynerComm Inc. / Exclusive Autosport Spectrum Honda across the finish line Sunday in 10th position in a thrilling three wide finish with current USF2000 Championship points leader, Scott Hargrove and fellow competitor Duncan Murdoch.
“I started the race in 13th. I lost a few positions off the start, however I was able to stick with them for a few laps and gain a few positions back. There was a caution which helped bring the pack closer together and help me gain a few more positions. I had a good battle going between myself and a few competitors throughout the entire race.
The Spectrum was great and the Honda engine was unbelievable on the straightaways. It came down to the last lap. I was able to pass two guys in the hairpin, however got loose on the exit and lost one of the spots. I went three wide with Hargrove and Murdoch at the finish and was able to beat them to the line for 10th position. I am thrilled with the result.
It was a really good weekend – I learned a ton. I have to thank my partners SynerComm Inc. – Mark and Chineta who were able to come out this weekend as my guests. Thank you to Kimberly, Michael, Remi, the crew and my teammates for everything this weekend. I look forward to continuing to learn and develop and focus on the next race weekend,” said Hanratty.
Next races for the Exclusive Autosport team will be June 22 and 23 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in the fifth and sixth rounds of the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship.
Exclusive Autosport, the Spectrum factory team owned by Exclusive Management Inc., would like to thank their technical partners and sponsors, Spectrum Race Cars, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Sparco USA, Flagworld, SynerComm Inc., Pro Am Golf USA, Dairy Queen.
For more information about Exclusive Autosport, the drivers or how to purchase a Spectrum Race Car from Exclusive Management Inc. (the Canadian importer and distributor), contact Kimberly directly at Kimberly@exclusivemanagementinc.com, visit www.exclusiveautosport.ca, www.exclusivemanagementinc.com.