Exclusive Autosport Welcomes Back Manuel Cabrera For USF2000 Program

Exclusive Autosport Welcomes Back Manuel Cabrera For USF2000 Program

SASKATOON, SK (March 5, 2020) – Exclusive Autosport is excited to announce the return of 19-year-old Manuel Cabrera to expand their Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship team for the 2020 season. Cabrera competed with the team in limited programs during the 2018 and 2019 racing seasons, participating in a total of 12 races with a best finish of eighth at Road America. The Atizapán de Zaragoza, Mexico resident will drive the #91 Gateway Telecomunicaciones / PMC Promotions Tatuus USF-17. Cabrera has been keeping his driving skills honed by recently racing in the 2020 Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy race in Mexico City and he’s also been working extremely hard on his fitness, all while maintaining stellar grades at Universidad Anáhuac México.


“I am very happy to welcome Manuel back to the Exclusive Autosport USF2000 program in 2020,” enthused Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “Manuel is strong behind the wheel and brings uncompromising determination and work ethic. He is such a pleasure to have on the team. His personality will without a doubt mesh really well with our engineering staff and the team we have put together. I am really looking forward to a positive USF2000 campaign with Manuel in 2020.”


Cabrera began his racing career in the assorted Mexican karting series in 2010 at the age of 10, running up front and winning numerous races and championships along the way. Manuel made the move to car racing by attending the Skip Barber Racing School in 2016, and then participated in their Championship Series that season. Cabrera graduated to the Formula PanAm series in 2017 and earned the championship title, winning a ticket to attend the Mazda Road to Indy $200,000 Scholarship Shootout in the process. In the Formula PanAm program, he scored four wins in the six-series races and was on the podium in the other two. He also raced in the Formula Masters Asia series, scoring six top-five finishes, and was awarded the Rookie of the Year honors. In 2018, Manual raced seven races with Exclusive Autosport, racking his highest finish of eighth place at Road America and was named the Road to Indy Insider’s ‘Star of the Race’ at the Royal Purple Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After taking some time off at the end of 2019, Manuel is ready and ultra-focused to fight for redemption posting winning results.


“I feel really happy to be able to be back with the whole team,” offered Cabrera. “As I have always said, it is a pleasure to work with them. I feel very grateful to them and at the same time very excited to be able to return to the track. There have been difficult days in my career as a driver, but I think that this year I come with more desire than ever. I will do my best in each race and I am definitely looking for great achievements. I hope to have a season to remember and that the team achieves good results this year.”


Cabrera will join his Californian teammate – Prescott Campbell – on Exclusive Autosport’s USF2000 squad, and he will also be teammates with Nikita Lastochkin (Indy Lights) and Braden Eves (Indy Pro 2000) at the official Spring Training test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 7-9. The team is poised and ready to battle for the championship titles in all three levels of this year’s Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

Exclusive Autosport announces driver for 2020 Indy Lights season

Exclusive Autosport announces driver for 2020 Indy Lights season


SASKATOON, SK (December 23, 2019) – Exclusive Autosport is happy to announce the return of Nikita Lastochkin to the team, making his debut in the 2020 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire season. The Russian-born, Los Angeles, CA resident will pilot the team’s #90 Dallara IL-15 featuring the Exclusive Autosport’s red and white livery with branding from his sponsor Russkaya Mekhanika. This will be the team’s first season in Indy Lights, but they have already shown in the series’ official winter test that they have serious pace, topping the speed charts in one of the five sessions earlier this month in Sebring.


“We are thrilled about our 2020 Indy Lights program and we’re equally excited to announce that Nikita, who ran with us in Indy Pro 2000 this past season, has chosen to take the next step in his career with Exclusive Autosport in our first year in the program,” enthused Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “I am truly proud of the relationship that has been built with Nikita the past year. To me, it speaks volumes about his trust and belief in EA. Nikita showed extremely well at the first series test in Sebring and we can’t wait for the start of the year in St. Petersburg.”

Lastochkin began his racing career in 2013 in the Skip Barber and SCCA series, scoring many victories, all with his eyes on making the jump to the Road to Indy program. In 2015, Nikita began a two-year stint in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, where he earned a combined 24 top-10 finishes. In 2017, he set his sights on an Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires program (Pro Mazda, at the time) and the 28-year-old finished fifth in the championship standings, posting eight top-fives and 11 top-10s with a season-high result of third in both races at Road America. In 2018, Nikita was ninth overall in the Indy Pro 2000 championship fight with 10 top-10 finishes. Last year, Lastochkin completed his first season with Exclusive Autosport in Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires, gaining five top-five finishes and sixth overall in the championship battle.


“I am extremely happy to be able to work things out and make the step up to Indy Lights,” said Lastochkin. “It is a humbling experience every time I get in the car, since I could not imagine how I was going to make it this far a few years ago. ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way’ is what they say, and my plan is to just keep working hard and see how far we can take it. Exclusive Autosport is going to be my home on the Road To Indy for the second year and I am confident we are going to be able to make it a great debut in the new series. Michael and Kimberly Duncalfe have been amazing in building a team that I am happy to be a part of. Our first test at Sebring went well, we have a great group of people together for the Lights program and I am very excited for my first Indy Lights start in St. Pete.”


Exclusive Autosport is already preparing for the 2020 season, continuing with their winter testing program. Though this is EA’s first Indy Lights season, they are using the winter to mold the team and prepare to give Nikita a car that can contend for a win at every race. Lastochkin will join his EA teammate Braden Eves under the tent, as the reigning USF2000 champion was announced last week for his Indy Pro 2000 debut.

Exclusive Autosport Expands to Indy Lights in 2020

Exclusive Autosport Expands to Indy Lights in 2020

For Immediate Release: September 21, 2019:

SASKATOON, SK (September 21, 2019) – As the only open-wheel racing team in North America with an internal development ladder system bridging from F1600 racing into the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, Exclusive Autosport is thrilled to announce it will expand once again in 2020 by making its debut in the top-level Indy Lights program. The growing operation has acquired a Dallara IL-15 chassis and currently plans to field at least one entry next season. The team plans to debut its new acquisition, dressed in new Exclusive Autosport red and white livery, alongside its USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 cars at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 19-20.


“This is truly a dream come true,” enthused Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “When I started Exclusive Autosport in 2013, competing in the Road to Indy was always the goal, however it seemed like a distant reality. To be sitting here, announcing that we are expanding to Indy Lights and have a four-tiered ladder system after seven years of competition, is one of the proudest moments of my career. This transition is a natural fit for the Exclusive Autosport program. Dan Andersen and the entire Road to Indy organization have been incredible to work with from day one. They have been very supportive of our efforts. We are thrilled to be a part of it. I want to thank my wife and children for all of their support and my incredible crew led by Mirl Swan. We are looking forward to what 2020 will bring.”  


Exclusive Autosport is the winningest team in Canadian Formula 1600 competition over the last six years, having won the last eight titles in the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship (Ontario) and the Formula Tour (Quebec) programs. They have also earned the championship in the last four seasons in the combined F1600 Super Series. The team has expanded steadily over the last three years, making its debut in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship in 2017 and the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2018. In both of its debut seasons, the team scored victories, racking up 11 wins since adding the RTI component to their schedule. The team also has two wins this season in Indy Pro 2000, with series rookie Danial Frost topping the competition on the oval at Lucas Oil Raceway and on the street circuit in Toronto.


In 2020, Exclusive Autosport will become the only Road to Indy team with its own driver development ladder reaching from F1600 up to Indy Lights. In fact, the team’s reach delves even deeper, as they are the title sponsor of the Western Canada Karting Championship. For the last two years, they have awarded WCKC champions with valuable F1600 test and evaluation days in their title-winning Spectrum F1600s.


“We are excited to welcome Exclusive Autosport into the Indy Lights family,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Michael Duncalfe parallels our goals in the Road to Indy of providing a complete ladder system for drivers to advance, and his expansion into Indy Lights now completes this platform for his well-established and highly regarded team. His passion for helping tomorrow’s talent was evident from Day One, and we look forward to seeing him and his drivers on our Indy Lights grids next season.”

Exclusive Autosport’s Lastochkin grabs fourth top five finish at Mid Ohio

Exclusive Autosport’s Lastochkin grabs fourth top five finish at Mid Ohio

(Photos by Ray MacAloney/cdn-r.com ©2019)


Exclusive Autosport Release:

LEXINGTON, OH (July 28, 2018) – Exclusive Autosport returned to the highly technical Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio this past weekend for Rounds 10 and 11 of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. The team went into the weekend with confidence, coming off their recent win on the streets of Toronto. Both Nikita Lastochkin and Danial Frost were focused on using the experience they have on the 2.258-mile track to tackle the doubleheader. Lastochkin drove with determination and in attack-mode all weekend, as the Russian-born, Los Angeles resident equaled his best finish of the season in fourth. Frost was taken out in an early-race incident in Race 1, and powered back from the tail of the field after a questionable penalty sent him to the back in Race 2. Danial made some incredible passes to finish a stunning sixth.

“Mid-Ohio was an interesting weekend,” admitted Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal.

“As a team, we topped the overall time sheets during the official test (two weeks ago), and we showed solid pace throughout the weekend. However, luck just did not seem to be on our side this weekend. Both Danial and Nikita worked incredibly hard on and off track and I believe both our drivers had the speed and potential to be on the podium for rounds 10 and 11, but I guess it was just not meant to be. Mirl Swan and the entire crew continue to impress, as the Exclusive Autosport cars are phenomenally prepped. Our sights are now focused on Gateway in a few week’s time.”

The event began first thing Friday morning with the one and only official 30-minute practice of the weekend, followed by Qualifying 1 later that afternoon. Both, Nikita and Danial got right to work, setting some fast laps, ultimately timing in sixth and ninth for Race 1.

Saturday’s Indy Pro 2000 action would kick-off with qualifying for Race 2 and both drivers improved their pace, Danial significantly, posting a time to put him on the outside of row one. Nikita would drop his time as well to give him the starting spot on the outside of row four.

The opening race of the weekend would begin late in the afternoon as the sun dropped behind the hills of Lexington. Both drivers moved up within the first three laps, but Frost was pinched by another driver during an overtaking attempt, sending him off the track and into the concrete wall, which caused extensive damage that prevented him to finish the race. Lastochkin fought hard all race long, maintaining hold of the lead pack. Late in the race, Nikita was able to make a pass on Sting Ray Robb to earn his second fourth place finish of the year.

The second race of the doubleheader weekend began the Road to Indy events on Sunday morning, and after the first attempt to start, the race needed to be waved off, race officials deemed that Frost was responsible for the aborted attempt and sent him the back. Believing firmly that this call was an error, the team attempted to protest the decision, but this effort was not heard. Due to the chaos at the start, Nikita was hit from behind by another car, bending the rear suspension, and puncturing his left rear tire, requiring a trip to the pit lane for repair. Thankfully, his suspension was not bent enough to be undrivable and Nikita was able to catch the rear of the field for the restart and maintain the fight for a better finishing position. Starting from the tail of the field, the two EA drivers would not only battle other drivers in the series, but each other as well. When the dust settled in this highly competitive series, Frost made his way back to sixth, while Lastochkin recovered to finish seventh. Considering all the adversity at the beginning of the race, the team was happy with the results.

In the Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires championship standings, Lastochkin firms up his place in the sixth position, having closed the gap significantly to the fourth and fifth place drivers. After a tough weekend for Frost, he sits fourth place in the championship, but is now 59 points behind the leader.

The next stop for the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be the 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois. World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway will host Round 12 of the Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires championship on Saturday, August 24.

Weekend at Mid Ohio leaves Parker Thompson looking for more.

Weekend at Mid Ohio leaves Parker Thompson looking for more.


Monday, July 29, 2019 – 07:00 EST



Photos by: R.MacAloney/cdn-r.com ©2019


Involved in a tight battle for the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires, Abel Motorsports driver Parker Thompson entered Rounds 10 & 11 of the series this weekend at Mid-Ohio ranked second in the overall standings. With only 5 points separating three drivers for that second-place position, every point earned in the two-race event would play a significant role in the standings going forward. After a great qualifying performance, Thompson was struck by misfortune during race action. A mechanical issue forced his retirement early in Race 1. A fourth-place finish in Race 2 saw him lose further ground to Championship contenders Lindh and Kirkwood.

Qualifying in third position for Race 1, Thompson made an early move into second place before a transmission shift actuator failure forced his retirement. With multiple incidents on track in the opening laps, Thompson would register an 11th place finish in the fourteen-car field.

After reparations were made for Race 2 on Sunday, Thompson was again able to improve on his third-place qualifying position and take second early in the race. He would comfortably hold the position until a full course yellow brought the field together on lap twenty. With only five laps remaining Thompson would lose two positions on the restart, and finish in fourth.

Parker Thompson
“This was definitely not the weekend that we were looking to have. We’ve experienced a range of highs and lows in this Indy Pro 2000 season, but I’m proud to have the great crew with Abel Motorsports by my side. We’ve had such a dependable car all year. The shift actuator failure that we experienced this weekend feels like one of those incidents of bad luck that happens sometimes in racing. The team had no issues getting the car back together for Race 2 today. We had a great start, and I felt like we had the pace to challenge for the lead early on. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the jump I needed during a re-start late in the race. The guys behind me were ready to pounce. This one hurts. We’ll look to do better in Round 12 next month at Gateway.”