Exclusive Autosport Earns Top-10s at Mid-Ohio
 July 31, 2018| 
  • Team News
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LEXINGTON, Ohio – Exclusive Autosport fielded cars for three freshmen drivers at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this past weekend, and the trio came home with an amazing seven top-10 results and an impressive podium finish in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda tripleheader.

Competing on the challenging 2.239-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course, Brazilian Igor Fraga led with the way with a top result of third in the second race, pairing that finish with runs to fifth in the other two races. A questionable 30-second penalty for blocking in the opening race left Igor officially classified in 17th.

Singapore’s Danial Frost continues to impress, cementing his position within the top-10 in the paddock. Frost quickly picked up the circuit and carded three top-10 finishes, highlighted by a seventh in the opening round. New York’s Yuven Sundaramoorthy made his Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires debut with Exclusive Autosport at Mid-Ohio, and the F1600 Championship Series frontrunner followed his plan to learn as much as possible. The 15-year-old American was quick and stayed out of the trouble that characterized this weekend’s events, taking 14th in the first race ahead of a pair of 10th place finishes on Saturday and Sunday.

“I am really pleased with the overall outcome of the USF2000 team this weekend,” said Michael Duncalfe, Exclusive Autosport Team Principal. “Our trio of drivers (Igor, Danial and Yuven) made significant strides on track this weekend. Having all three finish in the top-10 in both Races 2 and 3 is fantastic. Igor added his third podium of the year and is only six points out of second in the Championship. This is a great position to be in heading into the final weekend in Portland.  I am also incredibly pleased with the performance from Yuven Sundaramoorthy. This was Yuven's first official MRTI event and he performed like a veteran posting two top-10 finishes. Yuven has a very bright future ahead of him. Danial also drove incredibly well posting three top-10 finishes. He has really settled in to the nuances of racing here in North America. I expect we will see podium finishes and great things from Danial." 

The Exclusive Autosport USF2000 drivers got down to business on Friday with three official sessions. The day began with practice, and rolled through qualifying and the first race of the tripleheader. The team stayed focused on improving steadily from morning to afternoon, adapting to the changing track conditions.

All three drivers were outside the top-10 in practice, but they continued to find speed in qualifying. Fraga advanced to 12th, just a half-second off the top-five pace, while Frost and Sundaramoorthy sat 15th and 19th, respectively. In the first race, which capped Friday’s action, an opening lap incident between two Pabst Racing drivers brought out a full course yellow and allowed Fraga and Frost to advance to 11th and 12th.

Fraga charged quickly on the restart to gain two more positions to sit ninth when the second of four caution periods slowed the field for the second incident of the race, and he was again on the move when the race went back to green. The third caution occurred on the restart, as two drivers ahead of Fraga were collected in an accordion-effect wreck, which moved the Brazilian to seventh.  At this point, Igor was ready to get aggressive, making a tremendous move to the outside of Julian Van Der Watt in the Carousel to take over sixth before advancing to fifth when James Raven was forced to serve a drive-through penalty on the final circuit for jumping the start.

Sadly, Igor was hit with a questionable 30-second time penalty for blocking, which dropped him to 17th in the order. Despite the call, his performance was remarkable, once again. Amidst all the chaos, Frost worked his way forward and scored his best result of the season with a seventh-place finish. Sundaramoorthy put his first USF2000 race under his belt and his patience and measured approach was rewarded with a 14th place finish.

For Race 2, Fraga qualified fifth to secure a starting spot in the inside of row three. Frost improved to his best qualifying position to advance to ninth and Sundaramoorthy was also picking up his pace, posting the 14th fastest time to leapfrog to row seven for the start of the 20-lap race. During the early laps of the second event, all three drivers showed patience as they waited for things to calm down.

When the race passed its halfway point, with its two caution periods completed, Fraga was on the move once again, completing a stellar overtake on Lindh for third through the tight turn 5-6 complex, moving himself into podium contention. He worked hard to catch up to the second-place driver, but ran out of laps and settled for a fantastic third place finish. Frost and Sundaramoorthy worked together, knocking out quicker and quicker lap times, to finish with strong ninth and 10th place finishes, respectively.

In Race 3, the series used the drivers’ fastest laps from Race 2 to set the grid. Fraga was Exclusive Autosport’s highest qualifier in the ninth position, with Sundaramoorthy in 10th and Frost in 11th. Chaos quickly ensued behind the trio on the first lap, causing an immediate full-course caution. Fraga, Frost and Sundaramoorthy then lined-up eighth, 10th and 11th for the restart.

Fraga quickly started making passes, working himself up to the fifth position, which is where he finished. The result moves Igor to third overall in the championship standings, within six points of Rasmus Lindh in second. Thanks to a penalty drive-through for another driver, Frost advanced up the order to take ninth, while Sundaramoorthy completed his MRTI debut with his second straight tenth place result.

The series now moves on to the much-anticipated 1.97-mile, 12-turn road course of Portland International Raceway in Oregon. This will be the first trip to the facility for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, and the entire Exclusive Autosport team is excited for the opportunity to cap off the 2018 season.

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 10-11-12 – JULY 27-29, 2018

MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE – LEXINGTON, OH

IGOR FRAGA - #90

Qualifying 1: 12th – 1:21.848

Qualifying 2: 5th – 1:20.981

Qualifying 3: 9th – 1:22.131

Race 1: Start - 12th / Finish - 5th (17th - post-race penalty)

Race 2: Start - 5th / Finish - 3rd  

Race 3: Start - 9th / Finish - 5th   

Driver Quote: “We opened the Mid-Ohio race weekend really excited, coming from a second-place finish in Toronto! Unfortunately, due to my financial conditions, I was not able to do the Thursday testing. For another point of view, I had the opportunity to watch the USF practices from the outside and it this allowed me to study the lines and the track. Even with the short time that we had to adjust the car, Exclusive Autosport and I worked together to quickly close on my competition and we scored three strong finishes. This year, we’ve had some difficult moments, but we are improving and finishing constantly on top-five, which is a big achievements for us. I think we are on the right track, so we will keep working hard for the last rounds and do our best. I want thank the ‘EhTeam’, my sponsors and all the people who cheer for me!”

YUVEN SUNDARAMOORTHY - #91

Qualifying 1: 20th – 1:22.450

Qualifying 2: 14th – 1:21.52

Qualifying 3: 10th – 1:22.173

Race 1: Start - 20th / Finish - 14th  

Race 2: Start - 14th / Finish - 10th  

Race 3: Start - 10th / Finish - 10th   

Driver Quote: “Overall, I think it was a great weekend for me. Being able to bring home two top-10 finishes in my first-ever race in a downforce car felt good. Jay, Michael, Christophe and Richard did a great job to bring the car together to make me as competitive as possible. For me, the biggest thing with the transition from F1600 to USF2000 was the drastic increase in competition. I was not expecting the fields to be this close, which was a pleasant surprise, because it meant there was a lot of work needed to be put it in order to improve.”

DANIAL FROST - #92

Qualifying 1: 15th – 1:21.950

Qualifying 2: 9th – 1:21.254

Qualifying 3: 11th – 1:22.197

Race 1: Start - 15th / Finish - 7th   

Race 2: Start - 9th / Finish - 9th   

Race 3: Start - 11th / Finish - 9th  

Driver Quote: “My debut at Mid-Ohio was a weekend to reflect on. We are getting closer and closer to leaders in terms of outright pace. It’s only a matter of time before we’re up there fighting at the front. It was a great experience learning the car and the track. I’d like to thank my family, fans, sponsors and the Exclusive Autosport team, who were there to make everything happen.”

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