SASKATOON, SK (February 7, 2018) – After gaining valuable experience through nine series starts in 2017, Canadian Jayson Clunie will be back to contest the entire Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with the Exclusive Autosport team in 2018. The 48-year-old business owner enjoyed steady progress last season, having made his series debut on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. Clunie also competed in the USF200 events held at Road America, Toronto, Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen. A veteran of karting, open wheel and sports car competition, Jayson improved significantly through this limited program, an effort that was highlighted by a pair of ninth place finishes on the challenging streets of Toronto. Clunie is the first USF2000 driver confirmed by Exclusive Autosport for 2018.
“I am very excited to have Jayson back for his second year of USF2000 competition with Exclusive Autosport,” offered Michael Duncalfe, Exclusive Autosport’s Team Principle. “I have been fortunate to know Jayson for a long time and have had the pleasure of working with him for nine years, as he has been an Exclusive Management Inc. driver since 2009. I am honoured to have a driver like Jayson under the EA banner. In addition to his speed on track, Jayson loves interacting with fans and sharing his passion for motorsports with them. Jayson missed a few events last year due to his professional commitments, however, he will be full-time in the #93 Exclusive Autosport Exclusive Management Inc. USF-17 this year. Every time he is behind the wheel, he gets quicker and quicker. It’ll be really exciting to see what he can do out there this year.”
Clunie has diverse experience in a wide array of different types of race cars including the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series in the ST category, where he won at the famed Daytona International Speedway in the 2012 BMW 200 event. Jayson would go on to win the ST championship with teammate Pierre Kleinubing that year, running for i-Moto Racing. Clunie also competed heavily in the Formula 1600 category in 2014, running in the Canadian F1600 Super Series, Ontario Toyo Tires F1600 Championship, the Formula Tour 1600 series in Quebec, and the F1600 Championship Series in the United States. In 2015 and 2016, he competed in the Formula Continental class, running assorted SCCA Majors events, as well as competing in the ST category with Compass360 in IMSA.
In 2017, Clunie participated eight race weekends, adding top-five TC class finishes in the Pirelli World Challenge at Road America and the Utah Motorsports Campus to his resume. Clunie will be rejoining teammate Parker Thompson under the Exclusive Autosport banner, as the fellow Canadian was recently confirmed run in the Pro Mazda Championship. The team has plans to announce a second USF2000 driver next week, and could run as many as four cars this year.
Exclusive Autosport is coming off their freshman year in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. They ran extremely well, pushing quickly up the learning curve of a new car and a new series. Thompson was able to sweep the doubleheader on the streets of Toronto and added a win in Mid-Ohio to post a record that was accompanied by a pole positions, top-five finishes and third place in the championship. With Thompson’s USF2000 experience and success, Clunie will be provided with the crucial advice and coaching in his efforts to gain speed and comfort in his USF2000 Tatuus USF-17.
“I’m basically just genuinely excited about having the opportunity to drive with Exclusive Autosport again,” added Clunie. “It has been very rewarding to be involved with Michael and Kimberly Duncalfe for so many years and to watch them develop from some pretty humble beginnings to the team/family that they have created.”
With the opening round of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires just one month away, at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida on March 9-11, pre-season testing continues as the team develops their 2018 driver line-up. Exclusive Autosport intends to run at least three cars in the USF2000 program this year, and is set up to field a pair of cars in Pro Mazda.