Thompson maintains consistency with two top-five finishes at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, WI (June 24, 2017) – Leading open wheel junior formula team Exclusive Autosport made its Road America debut this past weekend in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Prior to the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires event, the team had tasted F1600 victory with a pair of F1600 race wins in the F1 Canadian Grand Prix support event in Montreal with Parker Thompson at the wheel. The Canadian followed up with Ontario F1600 wins at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park just a week later. Armed with this momentum, the crew and drivers tackled the four-mile Road America layout and came away with strong results as Thompson posted a pair of top-five finishes to remain in the championship hunt.
The drivers hit the track on Thursday afternoon for a single practice session that would set the table for Race 1 qualifying on Friday morning, but a red flag during the event’s only practice severely hampered the track time that the team needed, it being their first trip to Road America. Overnight rain presented the USF2000 drivers with wet but drying conditions, which put on the pressure late in the short 20-minute session. Thompson spent time on the top of the charts during the run and was looking good, but a minor miscue sent him off track in the late going. Thompson wisely elected to bring the car to pit lane for an inspection, which eliminated a chance to leverage the increased grip at the end of the session as the track was drying. This dropped him from first to seventh, setting up a challenge for Race 1.
In the first race of the doubleheader, Thompson attacked quickly during the opening lap chaos and moved to fifth to begin the battle. The team elected to keep Parker on his qualifying tires in order to save fresh Coopers for both Race 2 qualifying and the race itself. This put the onus on Thompson to battle hard, as he was surrounded by drivers with fresh rubber. He would eventually cross the stripe in fifth after a hard-fought battle for the top-five.
Qualifying for Race 2 took place on Friday afternoon and Parker was on pole for most of the session, leveraging his fresh tires, but in another late session flurry, he slipped to fourth in the order to put himself on the outside of row two for the start of the backend of the weekend doubleheader.
Thompson got a good start to the race and held station in fourth through to an early full course yellow, but on the ensuing restart, he missed the jump and paid the price, losing several positions all the way to turn five. After falling to 10th, Parker delivered a remarkable effort to battle his way back to fifth to complete a double-top-five weekend to earn valuable points in the championship.
PARKER THOMPSON – USF2000 #90
Qualifying 1: 7th – 2:14:733
Qualifying 2: 4th – 2:11.039
Race 1: Start – 7th / Finish – 5th
Race 2: Start – 4th / Finish – 5th
Driver Quote: “”Overall, I think the Openhwy #90 Exclusive Autosport team did a great job catching up to the rest of the USF2000 grid that had test time at Road America before the event. The huge circuit is not easy to dial a car in at, so I’m very proud that we had as competitive a car as we did. Realistically, to be competing for pole positions for both races with only one 30-minute session on the track is pretty awesome. Apart from that, we had solid points hauls in both races. We may not have had the pace and results we wanted, but I know the entire Exclusive Autosport organization is hungrier than ever to change that in the latter half of the season.”
The Canadian hot shoe gets back to his winning ways in Montreal.
Exclusive Autosport returned to the Montreal F1 Grand Prix for the Formula Tour 1600 Championship on June 9-11 with a statement, sweeping the double-header event courtesy of an outstanding performance from Alberta’s Parker Thompson.
The 19-year-old Canadian piloted the special 50 years of Formula One in Canada livery #90 Triquest NDT car to double Victory in Canada largest F1600 event of the year.
Thompson, a regular in the USF2000 Championship in the United States, quickly dialed himself in at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve track working well with the team’s lead engineer, Christophe Boisclair.
Parker’s pace was on the money right away as he qualified second for race one at the Grand Prix, without a drafting partner at the high-speed circuit in Quebec. His performance in Race 1 made the most of that pace as he took command of the 30 minute event, leading every lap even with two full restarts due to cautions.
He doubled up his results for the second race, again starting second on the grid at the famed circuit. Race 2 played out the same as the first had for the hard charging teenager. From the first corner to the last, Thompson took charge and managed to lead every lap. The race came down to the wire though, with a one lap restart to finish off the race Thompson managed victory only by 0.010 of a second. It was labelled as one of the most exciting races the Grand Prix of Canada had to offer in its 2017 edition.
“It couldn’t really have gone any better for me this weekend,” stated an enthusiastic Thompson. “The team gave me an awesome on such short notice, so to get them the wins they deserved felt amazing. The hard work paid off for the entire crew, and I couldn’t be prouder to work with such like-minded individuals. We all want nothing more than to win, second is not an option. Also, I would like to extend a huge thank you to my partners for the weekend, TriQuest NDT and Badlands Motorsports Resort. Without them I never would have had the opportunity to etch my name into history as the 50th Anniversary 2x winner of the Grand Prix of Canada.
“2017 marked Exclusive Autosport’s 5th year competing in the F1600 support races during the F1 Grand Prix du Canada. We had won 7 of the last 8 races at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and to add two more victories at this famed Circuit with Parker is incredible,” stated Exclusive Autosport Team Principal Michael Duncalfe. “Parker did an incredible job all weekend and especially in race #2 as he had his teammate Konrad battling with him all the way until the finish line. I can’t say enough about my entire teams performance all week. The crew have worked tirelessly building a new car and prepping four other cars. The drivers all rookies at this track also did an incredible job as we had all 5 drivers in the top 10 for the better part of both races. We leave not only with two victories, but with Parker in a commanding lead in the Toyo Tires Super Series Championship, Konrad Czaczyk leading the Formula Tour F1600 Championship, Dev Gore P3 in the Formula Tour F1600 Championship and Matthew Taskinen and Jacob Astren at the top of the standings in the Rookie Championship.”
After such a successful event together at the Montreal Grand Prix, Thompson and Exclusive Autosport will attempt to compete in the full Toyo Tires F1600 Super Series Championship, with a lack of budget holding the campaign back. The potent duo are currently at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to compete at round two of the championship this weekend.
Thompson will be piloting the #93 Badlands Motorsports Resort car this weekend in Ontario, looking for victories in the triple header event. Stay connected and follow along with Thompson and the Exclusive Autosport crew through their social media updates all weekend long.
Thompson sets sights on Canadian F1600 glory with Exclusive Autosport
Parker Thompson is pleased to announce a one race deal with Exclusive Autosport, in an effort to etch his name into the history books as the winner of the 50th Anniversary of the Xstch F1600 Formula Tour at the Montreal F1 Grand Prix.
“I couldn’t be happier that this one race deal came together last minute to be apart of the Formula One Grand Prix in Montreal. It has been such a pleasure working with Exclusive Autosport this year in the USF2000 Championship, so when the opportunity arose to pilot one of their rocketship Spectrum F1600 cars – I couldn’t decline,” enthused Thompson. “I am grateful for the opportunity from Michael Duncalfe (Team Owner – Exclusive Autosport), and owe the guys in the shop huge credit for working overtime to get a fifth car fully prepared in such short notice,” said Thompson with a smile. “I also wanted to thank Spectrum Race Cars and Elite Racing Engines, for both pulling strings in order to make this deal move forward and get the #90 Exclusive Autosport car on the grid.”
While Thompson may be in the same #90 Exclusive Autosport entry that you have come to know and love in 2017, this weekend the car will have a very different look and feel to it. The #90 race car that Thompson will be piloting is a brand new 2017 Spectrum. The livery for the #90 this weekend will be dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of F1600 at the Montreal Grand Prix – with a white and red scheme provided by AERO Paint Technology. Parker has partnered with two brand new partners for the Montreal F1 Grand Prix, and they both couldn’t be more excited to be involved with making this special one-off event happen.
Badlands Motorsport Resort – Coming Soon!
A vision for a motorsports focused destination resort in Alberta, Badlands Motorsports Resort is a family-oriented recreation area designed to help foster economic growth and tourism in Alberta. The development features two world-class automotive road courses, a full-service recreational resort, residential community and a multitude of experiences for all visitors. Badlands Motorsports Resort offers the unique opportunity to grow not only motorsports in Western Canada, but the local economy as well, ensuring a prosperous future for residents and visitors to enjoy for years to come.
“Badlands Motorsports Resort is excited to support Alberta native Parker Thompson in his quest for victory this weekend at the Formula 1600 Super Series race at Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, Montreal. As an active member of the community, and a strong advocate of responsible road driving habits through his teen focused program, “Drive to Stay Alive”, Parker demonstrates many of the values held in high regard by Badlands Motorsports Resort. We look forward to a continued relationship with this up-and-coming Canadian race car driver and coach as the development of our world-class motorsports resort progresses.”
– James Zelazo CFO of BMR
Triquest NDT (Non-Destructive Testing)
TriQuest NDT is a nondestructive testing services company serving locations across Western Canada in the Oil & Gas, Manufacturing and Power Generation industries. Nondestructive testing (NDT) includes non-intrusive inspection methods used to evaluate material and equipment integrity without impairing their future usefulness. As a full-service NDT company, our services include: Gamma Radiography, Computed Radiography, X-Ray Radiography, Magnetic Particle, Liquid Penetrant, Ultrasonics, Visual Inspection, Ferrite Testing, Hardness Testing, Boroscope Inspection, X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Alloy Analysis/PMI, Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL), Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT), Ultrasonic – Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD), Ultrasonic Corrosion Mapping, Engineering Services, Pipeline Integrity Inspection, In-house Radiography Facilities.
“TriQuest NDT is very proud to support Parker and the Exclusive Autosport Team – When you attach passion to your dream, you get closer to achieving it. Parker, we wish you a great race on Sunday and a successful season.”
“I am extremely excited to bring on two brand new partners to the program for the Montreal Grand Prix,” exclaimed Parker Thompson before jumping on a plane for Montreal, Quebec where he will compete at the Formula One Grand Prix. “I am really looking forward to showcasing both Badlands Motorsport Resort, and Triquest NDT at the front of the grid in Montreal.,” exclaimed Thompson. “On top of that, I will also enjoy proving how creating business relationships within motorsport through Parker Thompson Racing can enhance the success for both of their businesses. I want to win on and off track with all of my partners,” stated Thompson. “I can’t wait to hit the track this weekend in Montreal in the #90 Badlands Motorsport Resort / Triquest NDT car.
Top-five finish for Thompson in second race cap event with a positive
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. 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.
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 clawed his way 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.
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.
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.”
Thompson pilots rookie team to podium finish in their first weekend together.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (March 15, 2017) – Exclusive Autosport made their long-awaited debut in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda this past weekend at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in southwestern Florida following a focused off-season testing program. The team enjoyed a strong outing on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit, recording three top-5 finishes at the hands of veterans Parker Thompson and Luke Gabin. Series rookie Dev Gore accomplished his goal of running every race lap, avoiding the carnage that sent a dozen rookies back to the paddock with damaged race cars. The highlights of the weekend were turned in by Thompson for Race #2, where he qualified on the pole. After a spirited battle, Thompson brought the team their first podium in Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tire competition with an impressive third place finish. Gabin added to the Race #2 success with a strong fourth place effort.
“I am proud of the entire Exclusive Autosport team,” offered Michael Duncalfe, EA Team Owner. “Our staff worked tirelessly for months preparing for this event in St Pete. I feel our crew gave our drivers great cars and our drivers did a great job keeping their noses clean and finishing strong. To come away with one pole position, one podium and three top-fives is something to be proud of. That said, we are hungrier than ever for a win and to put all three of our drivers in the top-five. I can’t thank the entire EA team, our drivers, their parents and all of our supporters enough. We had a great opening weekend and we cannot wait to get to Barber Motorsports Park in April.
After a Thursday afternoon practice session afforded the drivers with their first opportunity to get on-track in St. Petersburg, the team’s pilots headed into qualifying for Race #1 on Friday morning. The track was still very green, which made it tough to find grip and balance on the cars’ setups. Thompson led the way for Exclusive by laying down the sixth quickest time of the session to secure a position on the third row for the first race of the doubleheader. Gabin was just inside the top-10 in 9th, while Gore knocked almost three seconds of his practice time to begin the official weekend, improving greatly his pace to finish up 21th.
Both USF2000 races were held on Saturday, so the drivers needed to balance the aggression of racing for the win and making sure they avoid damage that could take them out of Race #2. In the opening race, Thompson battled in the lead group and eventually topped a spirited battle between three drivers to take fifth to begin the season. Gabin fought for a position inside the top-10 and ended up 11th while Gore took another step forward with his on-track pace to finish 17th.
Qualifying for the second race had taken place on Friday afternoon, and Thompson put it all together during the 30-minute session, earning Exclusive Autosport their first MRTI pole position. Gabin lost a bit of pace, getting caught in traffic on his sticker tire laps, and was 11th in the timed run. Gore dropped over a half-second from Qualifying #1 to Qualifying #2 and advanced up the order to 19th.
Thompson paced the field to the Race #2 green flag early Saturday afternoon where he led 10 out of the 21 race laps. At the midpoint upon a restart (after a long full-course caution), Parker misjudged the grip slightly and pushed past the apex of turn 1, dropping to fifth in the running order. The result was an early-race battle with Kaylen Frederick. Thompson was able to manage the competition and power to a third place finish, giving the team their first podium in USF2000 action. The crew dialed in Gabin’s USF-17 as well, allowing him to storm from his 11th place starting position to fourth at the end of the 30-minute race. It was an impressive performance that will give the Aussie the momentum he needs heading to Alabama in April. Like Gabin, Gore saved his best for the final race of the weekend, finishing 16th.
The next event on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is set for the beautiful Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama on April 21-23.
DRIVER PERFORMANCE / QUOTES
COOPER TIRES USF2000 CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA
ROUND #1 – MARCH 10-12, 2017
GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG – ST. PETERSBURG, FL
PARKER THOMPSON – USF2000 #90
Qualifying 1: 6th – 1:15.8117
Qualifying 2: 1st – 1:15.3708
Race 1: 5th
Race 2: 3rd
Driver Quote: “I can’t express enough what an honor it is to be driving for Exclusive Autosport this year. The entire crew at EA is beyond dedicated to the program. In their very first race weekend in the USF2000 Series, they put a car on pole, and they put together a car capable of winning the race. I can’t recall any new team on the Mazda Road to Indy taking a podium finish in their first race weekend. And if it wasn’t for my miscalculation on the restart, these boys would have their first win in the bag. The Openhwy #90 was a rocket ship this week, taking a fifth place and a third place in the two races. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of making this season happen for me. Big or small, I’m so grateful to have another shot at taking home this Championship.”
Canadian team puts countryman in seat of new USF-17 for Mazda Road to Indy debut
SASKATOON, SK (January 20, 2017) – Exclusive Autosport will make their Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda debut in St. Petersburg when the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires gets underway in early-March. Team owners Michael and Kimberly Duncalfe are thrilled to announce their first driver for the 2017 season – fellow Canadian Parker Thompson. The team will head into the season with a true shot at the title with the reigning USF2000 Championship points runner-up primed and ready to pilot the team’s #90 Tatuus USF-17. The young Canadian driver is excited to be returning to the series, having enjoyed a successful test with the squad at Sebring last week.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Exclusive Autosport will make its series debut in the MRTI in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda,” offered Michael Duncalfe, Exclusive Autosport Team Owner. “It couldn’t come at a better time for EA as we have completed our fourth season as a team, where we have captured 11 team championships and four Rookie of the Year championships. We felt it was the right time to move up to the next level, especially with the introduction of the USF-17 Tatuus chassis. Dan Andersen and the staff at Andersen Promotions run a top shelf program and it is an honour to have my team competing on this platform.
“It has been a long time coming, signing Parker to a full season program with Exclusive Autosport,” Duncalfe continued. “I am especially excited that he will be one of our drivers, a series veteran, leading the EA program in our inaugural season in the USF2000 Championship / MRTI. I have the utmost respect for not only Parker’s racecraft, but also his work ethic on and off the track. I have never seen a driver work as hard as he does off the track on his racing program.”
The team is making a calculated move into the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires this season. With multiple championships on their resume in Canadian and American Formula 1600 racing, including SCCA, Formula Tour and Ontario F1600 competition, winning is expected and is the ultimate target. Exclusive’s USF2000 program will base its operation in Palmetto, Florida and will be managed by 2015 USF2000 Mechanic of the Year Jay Green. In addition to Jay, EA will have their loyal full-time mechanics on the program. The current plan is to run three cars in 2017. After having purchased two cars in the initial buy-in opportunity, Duncalfe has already added a third car to the stable.
“Parker and I both have high expectations for the season,” Duncalfe added. “He just came off his second season in the USF2000 Championship, where had it not been for some unfortunate luck, he very well could have walked away with the 2016 title. I feel that EA can give him a car capable of winning races and battling for the championship on track, but also, Exclusive Management Inc. can give him the support he needs off the track to assist with the growth of his partnership portfolio. We are thrilled to welcome Parker to the EA family and getting to work on his program.”
The 2017 season will not be the first time that Thompson has piloted an Exclusive Autosport entry. The 18-year-old from Red Deer, Alberta raced for the team in their Spectrum FF in the Formula Tour F1600 series in 2015, sweeping a weekend at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec. He proceeded to qualify on the pole at the famed Le Circuit Mt. Tremblant the following week. The previous relationship helped make this new partnership a natural fit, heading into the new year of competition.
“This was easily one of the hardest off seasons I have had in my motorsport career thus far,” Thompson admitted. “I honestly didn’t know if I was going to get behind the wheel of a racecar in 2017, so when the opportunity arose to become a part of the EA organization, I was ecstatic.
“This is a dream team fit for myself, in a number of different ways,” Thompson continued. “I met Michael when I was just 11-years-old racing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the Western Canadian Karting Championships. It just goes to show you what relationship building can do for your career down the road! Since then, I actually raced for Michael in his decorated FF1600 program, and claimed my first two formula car wins with him. There’s not many team owners in the paddock who I have had such a great history and relationship with over the years. I think that is going to make me push even harder to make sure I am doing everything on and off the track possible to pursue a championship for this team in 2017. You could definitely say that I have some unfinished business to take care of on the Mazda Road to Indy in 2017, and I couldn’t be prouder to represent EA Autosport while I do it.”
The team will be back testing at the end of the month at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Drivers interested in discussing EA’s remaining seats are asked to contact Michael Duncalfe direct by calling the office at 306-242-8284.
EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT – SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS:
Instagram: @ exclusiveautosport
PARKER THOMPSON – SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS:
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.