Exclusive Autosports Rookies Earn Top-10s at Road America
 June 29, 2018| 
  • Team News
Exclusive-USF-RA-Fraga-2018

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – Exclusive Autosport fielded a trio of drivers in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda events at the iconic Road America circuit during the June 22-24 weekend. Igor Fraga scored the team’s best finish with a strong fifth in Race 2, while Manuel Cabrera also stepped up in the second race of the double header, scoring his best finish of the year in eighth. Singapore’s Danial Frost made his series debut with Exclusive Autosport and was focused on learning the Tatuus USF-17 and the challenging track. Frost finished both races inside the top-20.

"It was great to be at Road America with our USF2000 program,” said Michael Duncalfe, Exclusive Autosport Team Principal. “It was a pleasure to have Danial Frost, from Singapore, join Exclusive Autosport. This was Daniel's first time in the USF2000 car, his first time at Road America and his first time racing in North America. It is unfortunate that we had a mechanical issue that prevented him from finishing stronger in Race 2. Overall, as a team, we seemed to struggle a little bit in qualifying, however, once it came time to race the boys certainly turned it on and moved forward. Each of the EA USF2000 drivers raced really well, showing how strong they are with their racecraft. I am looking forward to bringing these three drivers to our "home" race in Toronto in a few weeks time."

The USF2000 drivers kicked off their Road America weekend first thing on Friday morning with their only practice session of the event, ahead of separate qualifying sessions for the race’s doubleheader main events. Fraga led the way in practice, sitting 13th in the strong field of 26 drivers. Cabrera and Frost were 22nd and 23rd, respectively, as they set the baseline for the weekend. This was Frost’s first opportunity to drive the iconic four-mile Road America layout and he improved his pace during all 13 laps.

In qualifying for Race 1, Fraga turned things up to sit fifth, just over six tenths off the pole time to secure a starting position on the inside of row three. Following suit, Cabrera found over a second on the frontrunners to advance to 21st, closing the gap with each successive lap. Frost continued to gain much needed experience as he picked up a few tenths during the short 20-minute session. All three drivers were back on-track at the end of the day for Race #2 qualifying, and Fraga was again the quickest in the trio, although he fell back to 13th to make things a little more difficult on Sunday. Cabrera improved to 19th for the second race, maintaining his pace. Frost improved significantly in his third session on-track, cutting more than a second off his pace, to start in the 25th position.

Race 1 saw one of the best races to date with a lot of side-by-side driving without incident. Fraga started strong, dicing it up with the front pack, getting as high as fifth, but with such strong competition, he ended up in the eighth position in the final classification. Cabrera was making a strong bid, gaining much needed positions until another driver ran over his front wing, cutting the brake line, forcing the young Mexican to retire at the halfway point. The newest member of the ‘Eh Team,’ Danial Frost, was working all weekend on getting use to rolling starts and did a fantastic job staying out of trouble, leaving him with a 19th place finish in his first North American race.

Race 2 was quite a bit different that the previous one. The 12-lap contest was riddled with crashing and yellow flags. Unfortunately, on the first lap, Frost was involved in one of the incidents and had to come in for a new front wing. He managed to stay out of trouble, but late in the race a mechanical issue left him stranded on the track for the rest of the race. Cabrera was running a stellar race, passing cars left and right. At the halfway point, Manuel had to come in during the yellow flag to get his belts tightened, as they had loosened slightly. This didn’t affect his position much, as he recovered, went back on the attack, and finished eight. It was one of his best finishes to date and advanced him to 15th in the championship standings.

Amidst the chaos, Fraga was on a mission, as he knew he had more to show than his starting position. Throughout every green lap, Igor was advancing up the order. With just a couple of laps remaining, he stalked the fourth and third place drivers, eventually passing for fourth. In a last lap effort, he tried for third but just couldn’t make it stick and lost fourth in the process, taking fifth in the final results. The pair of top-10 finishes have put him in fourth in the title chase, just six points out of third.  Fraga has finished all but one race in the top-10.

The USF2000 schedule will now take the entire Exclusive Autosport team back to their home country of Canada for the wildly-popular Toronto Indy on the streets of Ontario’s capital on July 13-15. The drivers will take to the downtown streets for five on-track sessions, which includes a pair of races on Saturday and Sunday. All three drivers look forward to getting even more comfortable with the cars, the crew and the track.

Exclusive Autosport is pleased to be able to partner with great companies, such as AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology (www.rethinkpaint.com), which is used on all their race cars.

EXCLUSIVE AUTOSPORT – DRIVERS RESULTS AND QUOTES

USF2000 – ROUNDS 6/7 – JUNE 22–24, 2018

ROAD AMERICA – ELKHART LAKE, WI

IGOR FRAGA - #90

Qualifying 1: 5th – 2:09.873

Qualifying 2: 13th – 2:10.349

Race 1: 5th – 8th

Race 2: 13th – 5th

Driver Quote: “We had some low and high moments in Road America, but I think that the overall results were not bad. This track is not our strongest place and I finished P8 and P5 with podium chances! So, I think we are improving little by little since the Indy GP and I'm excited to race on a street track again. Huge thanks for team Exclusive Autosport, including my dad, and all my sponsors!!”

MANUEL CABRERA - #91

Qualifying 1: 21st – 2:11.365

Qualifying 2: 19th – 2:11.486

Race 1: 21st - 26th (DNF)

Race 2: 19th – 8th

Driver Quote: “It was a difficult weekend for me. In the first race, I had a DNF because somebody hit me on the straight, knocking off my front wing and cutting the brake line. In the second race, we had a good start, we made up some places but suddenly my belts loosened up which made me have pit to tighten them. We returned to the track at the back of the field, but we have another good start after the yellow flag getting some places and after a crazy race, we finished eighth, making it our third top-ten this year!”

DANIAL FROST - #92

Qualifying 1: 26th – 2:12.661

Qualifying 2: 25th – 2:12.305

Race 1: 26th – 19th

Race 2: 25th – 16th (DNF)

Driver Quote: “The first outing was all about getting used to the car and new team members – both operational and technical. The last race of the weekend proofed that team and myself work really well together and I look forward to continuing the progress. I have never raced a street race so naturally I am excited and look forward to joining the team for the second outing. Exclusive was strong in Toronto last year so I am sure the support will be great for this race.”

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