Thompson, CT – The Exclusive Autosport duo of Thomas McGregor and Jack Mitchell Jr. took home a podium each in their respective races this past weekend at Thompson Speedway. McGregor scored a third and fourth in the F2000 Championship Series events, while Mitchell. Jr finished third in the second F1600 Formula F Championship Series race of the weekend.
McGregor won in June at VIR in the No. 93 Exclusive Autosport/Dairy Queen/Spectrum/Sparco/Exclusive Management Inc. entry and scored a pair of top fives on the new road course at Thompson.
Saturday would be the highlight of the weekend for McGregor. He had good pace and qualified the No. 93 in third position. A serious crash in turn one of the opening lap brought out a red flag and stopped the field on track on the front straight. McGregor was not affected by the incident and continued to hold his third place starting spot. He did not have a good restart, which allowed Skylar Robinson and Sam Beasley to build a gap. McGregor’s car came alive late in the race as he continued to mount a charge on the leaders. He closed the gap, running the second fastest lap of the race, however he ran out of time to make a move on Beasley for second. He would take third in the opening F2000 race of the weekend.
“Today was a good day for the #93 Exclusive Autosport/Dairy Queen/ Spectrum/Sparco/Exclusive Management Inc. F2000. We had great track position to start the race as well as on the restart. Unfortunately the leaders got away after the restart and I spent the rest of the race running them down. I had the outright pace, just ran out of green flag time.” Stated McGregor. “I am happy with a podium and am looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow.”
Starting third for Sunday’s race, McGregor had the best start of perhaps the entire field, and darted to the inside for the race lead going into turn one. As the track narrowed up, McGregor wisely backed out of it, slotting into third. He ran a solid race creating a gap between himself and fourth place. The nearly three second gap started to get eaten up as tire degradation started to come into play. By the end of the race, McGregor had hardly anything left on his series spec Hoosier tires. Minor was able to slip past the No. 93 on the last lap of the race. McGregor would finish fourth.
The F1600 side of the Exclusive Autosport operation had Mitchell Jr. missing pole for Saturday’s race by just over a tenth of a second, giving the No. 93 Exclusive Autosport / Spectrum / Sparco / Exclusive Management Inc. / Honda Racing HPD entry the outside of the front row. Mitchell Jr. would briefly challenge for the lead on the run to turn one, but it wouldn’t be a repeat performance of his Pittsburgh victory earlier in the month, as his day ended early with an incident.
Looking for redemption a day later, Mitchell Jr. hunted down the lead at Thompson, coming from fifth to challenge for the win on the last laps of the event. After taking the white flag, Mitchell Jr. was perhaps the only driver in the field to make the outside line work in turn one, pulling alongside Ayla Agren and getting the preferred racing line for the next left-hander.
Drama ensued as the two went for the apex for the corner, making contact while racing for second place. Mitchell Jr. would recover, though, and managed to still salvage third place and gain back some Championship ground with two races to go.
“Saturday was a disappointing day for not only me but the team. The crew works really hard every weekend that when we end up with a DNF we all take it pretty hard. We needed to come back strong on Sunday. I worked hard to get around the cars in front of me and made my way up to third. I was in a tough battle with Ayla for second. I went in deep on the outside of turn one and she gave me enough room,” said Mitchell Jr. “I had the inside line on the next corner and we unfortunately ran out of room. It was a racing incident.”
Both the F2000 and F1600 seasons conclude at Watkins Glen International, with rounds 13 and 14 of the 2014 Championship, October 12-14.