Exclusive Autosport Scores Top 10 Finish on the Oval
 June 1, 2018| 
  • Team News
Exclusive-USF-LOR-Cabrera-MRTI-1200x450

BROWNSBURG, Inf. – Exclusive Autosport’s driver pairing in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda made their first oval starts this past weekend, competing in the Freedom 75 event on the 5/8-mile banked Lucas Oil Raceway.  

As part of Friday night’s Carb Night Classic, Igor Fraga and Manuel Cabrera both performed well during their maiden speedway event, finishing inside the top-10.  The team worked to get both drivers up to speed quickly through the two-day event, with Fraga finishing seventh ahead of Cabrera in ninth.

“Our USF2000 program had a solid weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway,” offered Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “Both Manuel and Igor did a great job acclimating to the tricky quarter-mile oval and brought home solid top-10 finishes. Manuel qualified slightly further back than we had hoped, but when the race went green he once again showed how talented he is behind the wheel of a car and immediately started carving his way through the field and moved forward. Manuel has made significant strides each event. I am really looking forward to seeing him progress in the last half of the season. Igor drove well this weekend. At one point in the race, it looked as though he would be able to bring home a top-five, but we had to settle for P7. All in all, it was a solid weekend, but we are all excited to head to Elkhart Lake, WI and go to Road America.”

Fraga was tenth in the official practice session on Thursday evening, turning 61 laps to prepare for qualifying on Friday, wrapping up with the qualifying simulation. Cabrera logged 82 laps on the quick oval, building up speed and comfort through the entire day. In the challenging single-car qualifying runs on Friday afternoon, Manuel was up first and worked through a slight bobble on the opening lap to set a two-lap average speed of 95.925 mph that would put him on the inside of the eighth row. Igor followed later in the order and turned it up, delivering a strong performance to post the seventh fastest two-lap average speed (97.559 mph).

At the start of the 75-lap race, Fraga lost a couple of positions, but he fought his way back forward to finish where he started, in seventh.  The result was his fourth top-10 of the year moving him into fourth in the championship standings.

Cabrera was also on the move after starting 15th, running well while taking full advantage of the two cautions and ensuing restarts.  He advanced to 10th in the final results, which was his second top-10 of the year and third straight finish in the top-half of the field. Manuel is developing valuable momentum as we approach the middle of the season.

The next stop on the MRTI circuit will take the team to the iconic Road America facility in Elkhart Lake, WI.  The team will participate in an official series test in mid-June ahead of the doubleheader race weekend on the 4-mile track on June 22-24.

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 – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES

COOPER TIRES USF2000 CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA

CARB NIGHT CLASSIC – FREEDOM 75

LUCAS OIL RACEWAY – BROWNSBURG, IN

IGOR FRAGA – USF2000 #91

Qualifying: 7th – 97.559 mph

Race: Start – 7th / Finish – 7th

Driver Quote: “My first experience on the oval was quite different in comparison to all that I’ve done until now. It’s a different feeling, and you need to be aware all the time because you are always running on the edge. A slight mistake costs a lot. I started the race in seventh place and I finished in the same place. I lost some positions because I started on the inside line, which at Lucas Oil Raceway is the slower lane to run. Fortunately, we had some yellow flags and I was able to gain some positions on the restarts and finish the race. I would like to thank you all the team at Exclusive Autosport, my sponsor and especially, my dad, who was working as the mechanic on my car.”

MANUEL CABRERA – USF2000 #90

Qualifying: 15th – 95.925 mph

Race: Start – 15th / Finish – 9th  

Driver Quote: ““It was not the race weekend we were expecting, but I’m quite happy because the car was good, my pace was good, and the only thing that made me struggle was the first lap in qualifying, where I lost the rear of the car and I lost a lot in my final time with that mistake! The race was great, I was taking care of the car and also trying to make up some places. I start 15th and finished 10th to score great points. It was difficult to make the overtakes because of the racing line on this oval, but we could manage that with the yellow flags and the restarts! We are going to prepare ourselves more every day to come back super strong for Road America! I want to say thanks to Grupo Gateway Mexico, One Nature Organic, and PMC for all the support.”

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