Exclusive Autosport and Scott Andrews proved to be the class of the field on Sunday as they dominated Round 2 of the F1600 Formula F Championship Series event at Watkins Glen International Circuit winning both of the day’s races.
Andrews, who arrived at ‘The Glen’ leading the championship after a win and two podiums from Round 1, subsequently captured his fourth straight podium in Saturday’s first race, taking second behind America’s Austin Mack. The 24-year-old Australian wasn’t to be denied on Sunday however with a pair of stellar victories, over Steve Bamford and Austin Mack respectively, to further strengthen his early title challenge.
Yet to finish off the podium in his rookie season in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, Scott’s successes on Sunday also made him the first double-victor of the 2015 season and brought Exclusive Autosport’s win tally, and that of their factory Spectrum chassis, to four with Chicago’s Jack Mitchell Jr. also having won in the opening round.
“It’s obviously a solid way to start a season,” commented Exclusive Autosport Team Principal Michael Duncalfe. “Scott really had a solid weekend. He stuck to the game plan we put in place ahead of the event and he ensured he left still leading the points standings. He produced some phenomenal driving in Race 3 today to keep himself in the fight and when the opportunity presented itself to snatch the lead, he didn’t disappoint. He drove extremely well all weekend and his results speak for themselves.”
Jack Mitchell Jr. (19) came closest to scoring a podium in Saturday’s race at Watkins Glen, the teenager denied a top three finish through no fault of his own as an unforeseen issue dropped him down the order on the last lap to 10th and the checkered. Sunday’s races saw Mitchell Jr. maximize his chances for points and a brace of fifth place finishes ensures he sits closely behind Andrews in the Driver Standings.
Exclusive Autosport’s sole Canadian driver, Thomas McGregor, was also unlucky not to come away from Watkins Glen with his first podium of the season. Contact at the end of Race 3 on Sunday cruelly denied the former Toyo Tires F1600 Champion a top-three score, a result all the more disappointing after Thomas had enjoyed challenging team-mate Andrews at the sharp-end of the grid. The highlight of the weekend for the Saskatoon racer was ultimately a fourth place finish in Sunday’s first race, McGregor again having been a front-runner throughout the 10-lap sprint.
“Both Thomas and Jack showed their pace at Watkins Glen and it’s obviously disappointing not to have better results to show for it,” stated Duncalfe. “They were right up in the draft and in the heat of all the action during the weekend. We lost a couple of podiums today through no fault of our own but that’s racing and we’ve got to get all the guys to the front. We’re doing something right if we’re not satisfied with just top-five finishes. Jack and Thomas are champion drivers and I know they’ll be pushing Scott next time out in Virginia.”
F1600 Formula F Championship Series - Exclusive Autosport Driver Quotes:
Scott Andrews (@scottandrews44): #94 Exclusive Autosport / Exclusive Management Inc. / Automobility PTY Ltd / Andrews Automotive / Spectrum / Sparco / Honda Racing HPD
Race 1 Saturday 16th May – Qualified: 5th / Finished: 2nd
Race 2 Sunday 17th May – Qualified: 5th / Finished: 1st
Race 3 Sunday 17th May – Qualified: 9th / Finished: 1st
Quote: “I’m more than happy with today’s results! I certainly wasn’t expecting to be a double winner today but I’ll definitely take it. I really wanted to capitalize on my series lead but more importantly race smart all weekend. That’s how it transpired. I caught some breaks on-track at times but at other times I put in some solid moves to go for it. We’ve got the potential to win each time we compete but I’m not settling back. I’m always looking at ways to improve and I know the team is doing the same.”
Jack Mitchell Jr (@JackMitchell80): #92 Exclusive Autosport / Exclusive Management Inc. / Spectrum / Sparco / Honda Racing HPD
Race 1 Saturday 16th May – Qualified: 3rd / Finished: 10th
Race 2 Sunday 17th May – Qualified: 9th / Finished: 5th
Race 3 Sunday 17th May – Qualified: 8th / Finished: 5th
Quote: “It was good to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointment where a top-three was definitely on the cars before our issue struck. To come away today with a pair of top-five finishes, while maybe not as strong as our Road Atlanta results, is still solid enough. Sometimes you have to take the points and look at the big picture. In that respect I think I made the most of my opportunities today and having won already this season, I know I can get back up there to challenge Scott.”
Thomas McGregor (@TMacRacing): #93 Exclusive Autosport / Exclusive Management Inc. / Dairy Queen / Spectrum / Sparco / Honda Racing HPD
Race 1 Saturday 16th May – Qualified: 6th / Finished: 8th
Race 2 Sunday 17th May – Qualified: 10th / Finished: 4th
Race 3 Sunday 17th May – Qualified: 2nd / Finished: 15th
Quote: “I’m naturally disappointed that the results don’t really do justice to my performance on track. Today’s final race was going well and I was up there fighting with Scott, who ultimately won, but unfortunately the clash with another car did the damage. I was lucky to at least bring it home but it was a case of what might have been. Hopefully we’ll get things going our way in Virginia next month and I can add to the team’s podium and win tally and get myself on the board.”
Round 3 of the SCCA sanctioned F1600 Formula F Championship Series is hosted next month at Virginia International Raceway, Friday 5th to Sunday 7th June.
Formed in 2013, Exclusive Autosport has quickly forged a reputation as one of North America’s premier junior formula outfits. Championship success came quickly under Michael Duncalfe’s leadership with notable achievements including back-to-back driver titles in 2013 and 2014 in the Canadian Toyo Tires F1600 A-Class Championship and in the Quebec Formula Tour 1600 Pro-Class Championship.
Exclusive Management Inc. is the official North American Importer and Distributor for Spectrum Chassis, designed and produced by Borland Racing Developments in Australia.