Exclusive Autosport’s weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex yielded two podiums from Round 5 of the F1600 Formula F Championship and F2000 Championship Series, 1st-2nd August.
In F1600 Scott Andrews maintains his position at the head of the Driver Standings with a second place podium finish in Race 1 the highlight from an uncharacteristically quiet weekend from the seven-time race winner. In F2000 home talent Trent Walko captured his second top-three of the season with a third place finish in Race 2 following back-to-back front-row qualifying performances from the teenager.
Saturday’s F1600 race started with Canada’s Thomas McGregor the best-placed Exclusive Autosport racer. Starting sixth on the grid, with Scott Andrews two spots back in eighth, McGregor was firmly in the pack mixing it up throughout the 13-lap race. Ultimately it was his Australian team-mate who scored the better finish taking second behind race winner Skylar Robinson, and fastest race lap to earn pole for Race 2, with Thomas placed eighth at the checkered flag.
Sunday’s two F1600 races saw Andrews and McGregor finish just shy of the podium in fourth and fifth place respectively. Scott raced away from pole and led the majority of laps until a last lap fight for position saw him shuffled back in the pack with no time left to challenge the leaders.
Race 3 on Sunday afternoon ended abruptly for Andrews after a four-wide charge on the opening lap. Contact damaged his left-rear suspension and the championship leader headed to the pits to retire. Thomas, who started on the second row, was also the victim of contact and wound up seventh at the flag after 15-laps.
In F2000 another consistent performance from America’s Trent Walko saw the teenager score his second podium of the 2015 season. Encouraged by his second place outing at Mid-Ohio in early July, Trent’s pace was evidenced by a pair of front-row starts in Pittsburgh. Fourth in Race 1 on Saturday was followed up with his third place finish on Sunday in Race 2 joining race winner Sam Beasley and runner up Steve Bamford on the podium.
“There are some obvious highlights from the weekend in Pittsburgh, notably Trent’s continuing development in F2000 and Scott Andrew’s maintaining his lead of the F1600 standings,” commented Michael Duncalfe, Exclusive Autosport Team Principal. “It’s our first weekend this season without a win in F1600 but with the exception of Scott’s retirement from Race 3, it was still a solid event and he still commands a healthy points advantage in the chase for the title.
“Trent ran well all weekend which reflects his growing confidence in F2000. I knew his first
podium would be a turning point in terms of his progress in the series. The fact he’s backed that up with another one at the next race weekend is encouraging. His qualifying pace was solid too and I’m hoping we’ll see even greater consistency from Trent as we close out the season in New Jersey then back here again in Pittsburgh.”
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 1st August – Qualified: 8th / Finished: 2nd
Race 2 Sunday 2nd August – Qualified: 1st / Finished: 4th
Race 3 Sunday 2nd August – Qualified: 6th / Finished: DNF
Quote: “We’re enjoying such a stellar season that it could be easy to be a little discouraged by the Pittsburgh results. A podium’s always welcome and Saturday’s was definitely a hard-fought score. I was looking for another in Race 2 but I lost out just at the end of the race which was disappointing given I’d led throughout from pole. The DNF in Race 3 was a racing incident, it happens. We’ll bounce back in New Jersey, our hard work together will keep paying off.”
Thomas McGregor (@TMacRacing): #93 Exclusive Autosport / Exclusive Management Inc. / Dairy Queen / Spectrum / Sparco / Honda Racing HPD
Race 1 Saturday 1st August – Qualified: 6th / Finished: 8th
Race 2 Sunday 2nd August – Qualified: 12th / Finished: 5th
Race 3 Sunday 2nd August – Qualified: 3rd / Finished: 7th
Quote: “I’d definitely hoped for a bit more from the weekend but in comparison to other events this season, to finish all three races without being taken out was a welcome relief. There’s such a small margin of error in this series, both in qualifying and in the races. It’s good to be in the mix each time we’re on track. My target’s always the podium and it’s disappointing to have missed out in Pittsburgh but the goal remains the same heading to New Jersey next.”
F2000 Championship Series - Exclusive Autosport Driver Quote:
Trent Walko (@twalko91): #91 Exclusive Autosport / Spectrum / Zetec
Race 1 Saturday 1st August – Qualified: 2nd / Finished: 4th
Race 2 Sunday 2nd August – Qualified: 2nd / Finished: 3rd
Quote: “A great weekend! The guys on the team gave me a fast car all weekend and we backed that up with decent results. I’m loving being out there in the car and learning each time I’m behind the wheel. That’s being reflected in my performances. To get another podium and a pair of front-row starts is proof of everyone’s dedication and hard work. There’s hopefully more to come on the home stretch of the season.”
Round 6 of the SCCA sanctioned F1600 Formula F Championship Series and F2000 Championship Series is hosted at the New Jersey Motorsport Park, Friday 28th to Sunday 30th August.