Exclusive Autosport's Fraga Scores Podium in Toronto
 July 18, 2018| 
  • Team News
Exclusive-Toronto-USF-Fraga1

TORONTO, ONT. Canada – Exclusive Autosport’s driver duo in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda delivered in a big way this past weekend in Toronto, racing on the challenging 1.786-mile, 11-turn street circuit in the team’s home country of Canada.

Brazilian Igor Fraga and Danial Frost of Singapore turned in their best efforts of the 2018 season, scoring a total of four top-10 finishes which were highlighted by a stellar run by Fraga in Race 2, taking the second step of the podium after leading for much of the 25-lap race. The 19-year-old started the event with a seventh in the opening race, advancing from the tail of the grid after trouble in qualifying. Frost showed tremendous consistency all weekend in only his second series event and first time on a street circuit, finishing eighth and fourth in the two races of the doubleheader.

"I am really proud of our USF2000 team,” said Michael Duncalfe, Exclusive Autosport Team Principal. “They worked really hard and had a very strong weekend. We entered the weekend with two drivers who had never seen the track here in Toronto before, however, both Igor Fraga and Danial Frost put their heads down and improved every session, gaining valuable experience on the streets of Toronto this past weekend. As a USF2000 team, we came away with four top-10s and a podium, which was fantastic! Igor and Danial exemplified how fast they are as drivers and how strong the Exclusive Autosport cars are with their second and fourth place finishes (respectively) on Sunday. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Exclusive Autosport crew – our crew chief, engineers and mechanics - for all of their hard work not only throughout a race weekend but behind the scenes. We look forward to continuing this positive momentum into Mid-Ohio."   

Fraga and Frost tackled the challenging track in Friday morning practice, using their initial laps to get a feel for the unique circuit, which features both new and old pavement, and slippery concrete patches in the corners. Igor immediately showed the pace needed to challenge for the win, posting the third fastest time of the session, while Frost posted the 14th quickest time to begin his weekend.

Qualifying for the opening race did not go as planned, with Fraga making contact with the turn 11 wall after having just set the provisional pole time. Igor was able to get off the track in the turn one escape road, but this brought out the red flag and he lost his quickest time, which was his only lap at speed. This decision dropped him to 17thon the grid for Race 1. Using the first session as a reference, Frost picked up over a half-second on the leaders to qualify 11th.

In Race 2 qualifying, Fraga logged 13 laps of the session to sit sixth, securing the outside of row three for the 25-lap race. Danial once again closed the gap on Kyle Kirkwood, the pole sitter, this time by two tenths of the second. He would slot into the 12th position and took the green from the outside of row six.

During the opening laps of Race 1, which went green just before noon on Saturday, Fraga attacked with patience, moving from 17th to 14th before a full course caution slowed the field on lap three. The incident advanced the Brazilian to 12th for the restart, two spots behind Frost, who did a great job over the opening laps to move into the top-10. At the halfway point, Fraga had worked his way to eighth and eventually slipped past his teammate to take seventh ahead of a full course caution on lap 18 that caused the race to end under yellow.  Fraga and Frost finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

In the second race of the weekend, Fraga avoided an opening lap melee at the end of the backstraight to follow Kirkwood through and past those who ended up in the tires to sit second on-track. On the ensuing restart, Fraga attacked for the lead heading into turn three and took the point for the first time in 2018. Igor was then pressured for the next 11 laps by Kirkwood, holding him at bay with strong racecraft.

After a hard-fought battle, Fraga eventually was forced to concede the top position and settle for the second step of the podium, equaling his best finish of the season from the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Frost was able to follow Fraga through the lap one incident, putting him in a strong third position with the podium in his sights. Danial fought lap after lap with Rasmus Lindh and Julian Van der Watt, only to lose one spot to Lindh and finish just off the podium in fourth place. It was an extremely strong finish, with this being only his second race in the USF2000 series.

Immediately following the hectic Toronto weekend, Exclusive Autosport headed straight to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for an official series test, which will take placethis Wednesday and Thursday (July 18-19). The series returns to the popular facility a week later for a tripleheader weekend on July 29-31.  The team is excited to confirm that it will expand to three cars for the event with the addition of young American Yuven Sundaramoorthy, who currently sits third in the F1600 Championship Series with a pair of race wins.

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.

EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT – DRIVERS RESULTS AND QUOTES

USF2000 – ROUNDS 8-9 – JULY 13-15, 2018

INDY TORONTO – TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA

IGOR FRAGA – USF2000 #91

Qualifying 1: 17th – 5:55.944

Qualifying 2: 6th – 1:11.449

Race 1: Start – 17th / Finish – 7th    

Race 2: Start – 6th / Finish – 2nd    

Driver Quote: “We started this weekend very well in Toronto, scoring a top-three in the first practice. In Qualifying 1, I saw an opportunity to get pole, and I was pushing very hard. Unfortunately, I tapped the wall and broke my rear suspension. I started from the back due to this contact, but I did my best in recovery all the race and finished in seventh. In the second race, I started from sixth. I was in the right place at the right time, staying out of incidents and went to second in turn three. On the restart, I dove in on turn three, taking the first place. Unfortunately, I did not have the outright pace, and was not able to hold the position until the end. But, overall, the car was really good, and I got back on the podium in second place, in my team's home country, making it extra special! I'm looking forward to race in Mid-Ohio as well.”

DANIAL FROST – USF2000 #92

Qualifying 1: 11th – 1:14.327

Qualifying 2: 12th – 1:12.191

Race 1: Start – 11th / Finish – 8th     

Race 2: Start – 12th / Finish – 4th     

Driver Quote: “Toronto was an experience to remember, first time out on a street track was a challenge with all the right and technical corners. I am over the moon to be able to achieve a top-5 finish for the team this weekend. Thank you to everyone that was there to support me”

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