Exclusive Autosport Preview
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (April 8, 2016) – The regular seasons for both the F1600 Formula F and F2000 Championship Series get under way this weekend, April 7th to 10th, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia – and Exclusive Autosport, the North American Spectrum factory team, is ready.
The team shot to powerhouse status during its first three years of competition, winning championships in the Canadian Toyo Tires F1600 Championship (Ontario) and the Formula Tour 1600 Championship (Quebec) before claiming the F1600 Formula F Championship last year with driver Scott Andrews. All of these accomplishments were completed with the highly celebrated Spectrum chassis, which has guided junior formula teams to championships around the world.
This year, Exclusive Autosport is even more confident in its setup and race package. Team owner Michael Duncalfe expects his fleet of Spectrum Hondas to be fast out of the gate. In addition to Exclusive Management Inc.’s driver coaching and development expertise, led by Duncalfe, he has teamed up with Jay Howard Motorsports Driver Development (MDD) to also work with the Exclusive Autosport drivers. The part-time IndyCar driver brings additional insight to on-track strategy and development.
A four-pronged assault is lined up for the team’s title defense in American racers Ben Auriemma, Ryan Bjerke, Trenton Estep, and Will Harvey. Seasoned Canadian driver Jayson Clunie will join the squad to pilot its lone entry in the F2000 Championship Series.
Three of the team’s drivers – Auriemma, Harvey, and Clunie – have competed at Road Atlanta in the past, which will contribute enormously to getting the entire team up to speed and ready to bring home a suite of strong results for the series’ openers.
“I’m thrilled with the depth of talent we’ll have on display in these two very competitive series this season,” says team principal Michael Duncalfe. “This year’s crop of young drivers in F1600 Formula F is diverse and full of potential, and having a seasoned veteran in our F2000 seat will add even more to what we can accomplish as a team. We’re looking forward to expanding on our list of accolades this year with some victories and strong podium results.
“I am also proud and excited to be welcoming Jay Howard (Jay Howard MDD) to the program. Jay brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as an IndyCar driver and Indy Lights champion. He is a great complement to our current coaching and driver development platform. We have been working really hard to further strengthen the Exclusive Autosport program from all angles.”
2016 Exclusive Autosport drivers in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series:
Ben Auriemma (No. 92 ACG Motorsports/Exclusive Autosport/Spectrum/Honda)
Ben Auriemma of Manhasset, New York, began his racing career at age 10 and worked his way through the karting ranks before starting in car racing career with Skip Barber. Now 17 years of age, Auriemma has been selected twice as a finalist for the Team USA Scholarship program (2014 and 2015). He completed his first full season in F1600 Formula F in 2015, in which he finished 3rd overall.
Ryan Bjerke (No. 94 Exclusive Autosport/Spectrum/Honda)
Sixteen-year-old Ryan Bjerke began his karting career in 2007 by competing at his local track in North Liberty, Indiana. He logged a championship before undertaking several part-time seasons in the F1600 Formula F Championship and now looks forward to his first full season of competition in the series with Exclusive Autosport.
Trenton Estep (No. 93 Exclusive Autosport/Spectrum/Honda)
Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Trenton Estep began racing karts at just four years of age. Now, 12 years later and with multiple national karting championships under his belt, Estep steps into formula car competition for the first time as he joins Exclusive Autosport to enter the 2016 F1600 Formula F Championship Series.
Will Harvey (No. 90 Marlin Oil Corporation /Oklahoma Heart Hospital/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation/Exclusive Autosport/Spectrum/Honda)
Nineteen-year-old Will Harvey, born in Michigan and raised in Edmund, Oklahoma, began his racing career at age 10 but learned about having strength through adversity at an even earlier age after being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a young child. His passion for racing has taken him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he’s pursuing an engineering degree while taking part in the school’s Formula SAE program. Harvey enters his third year in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series in 2016 and seeks to add to his achievements, which include a trio of podium finishes and more than a dozen top-10 results.
2016 Exclusive Autosport driver in the F2000 Championship Series:
Jayson Clunie (No. 93 Exclusive Autosport/Spectrum)
At 44 years old, Jayson Clunie of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, came into formula car racing at a later-than-average stage of his life. Though his motorsport career developed in stock cars and then karts, formula cars have led Clunie to success. Among his accolades are a class championship in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in 2012, which included a win at Daytona International Speedway, and simultaneous Rookie of the Year and Masters Champion awards in the Canadian-based Formula Tour 1600 series in 2014. Clunie seeks to expand his F2000 resume even further this year, which already includes podium results for Exclusive Autosport at several SCCA Majors events over the past two seasons.