Lexington, OH – Running separate programs in the F2000 and F1600 Championship Series, Exclusive Autosport drivers Thomas McGregor and Jack Mitchell Jr. enjoyed a pair of second place finishes during rounds seven and eight of their seasons at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this past weekend.
McGregor, who won in June at VIR in the No. 93 Exclusive Autosport/Dairy Queen/Spectrum/Sparco entry, marked some of the first development laps in the new Spectrum F2000 chassis during Thursday night testing – giving the Saskatchewan-based team an opportunity to fine tune the setup ahead of double practice sessions on Friday and all-important Saturday morning qualifying.
When that qualifying came around, McGregor clocked in at 1:23.476, qualifying fifth on the gird and being one of seven cars under the existing F2000 track record. A few hours later, the race unfolded with McGregor finishing some 2.4 seconds behind the eventual winner for fourth, and turning the fourth fastest lap of the 19-lap race.
Adding laps around the twisty Mid-Ohio road course was to McGregor’s benefit as Sunday morning qualifying in extremely tricky drying conditions left him starting from the point. The No. 93 lost the lead on the start to eventual winner and defending Series Champion Tim Minor, but McGregor underlined the pace of the Spectrum, stalking Minor by a few tenths for the majority of the race before lapped traffic handed Minor a bigger lead and the win.
"Thanks to Exclusive Autosport this weekend," said McGregor. "We worked really hard. I wanted (another) win badly, but I'll take second and we'll get them next time."
On the F1600 side of the Exclusive squad, 2013 Toyo Tires F1600 Champion Jack Mitchell Jr. had a weekend that was underlined by moves toward the front during two races.
Driving the No. 93 Exclusive Autosport / Spectrum / Sparco / Exclusive Management Inc. / Honda Racing HPD, Mitchell Jr., from Clarendon Hills, Illinois, moved from tenth to fifth in the first race of the weekend, running the third fastest lap of the race at 1:28.313.
The story would get better on Sunday, with Mitchell Jr., starting ninth, but finding himself in a lead pack of seven cars that broke away from the field. As the seven traded the lead back and forth, Mitchell Jr. played a careful waiting game, and did not put his equipment in danger. With the race unfolding, and a few of the leaders finding themselves off the track, the No. 93 charged to second from fifth on the final two laps. Mitchell Jr. missed the win by some three tenths, taking home more runner-up hardware on the podium.
“It was super competitive here today,” said Mitchell Jr., who is knocking on the door of his first F1600 Series race win and is a serious title-winning threat. “We had a great car and it was fun being at the front and fighting.”
Up next for Exclusive’s racing program in the United States is a trip to Pittsburgh International Race Complex for rounds nine and ten of the F2000 and F1600 Championships, August 1-3.