SASKATOON, SK (April 17, 2018) – Exclusive Autosport is primed and ready to return to the Canadian F1600 scene this year with a full line-up of drivers, and team owner Michael Duncalfe is pleased to confirm that top Canadian kart racer Matthew Taskinen will return for his first full season of F1600 competition with the team in 2018. Taskinen will compete in the F1600 Canada Series in Quebec and the F1600 Super Series, which includes two races from the Ontario-based Toyo Tires F1600 Championship, as well as the Canadian F1 weekend in Montreal and the prestigious Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. The 18-year-old’s Exclusive Autosport Spectrum 014 F1600 car will be sponsored by Venables Machine Works and Hub International.
“It’s awesome to announce that Matthew is coming back this year for what will be his first full season of F1600 competition,” commented Michael Duncalfe, Exclusive Autosport’s Team Principal. “Matthew competed in a partial season last year with Exclusive Autosport and did an incredible job at every event. I’m confident that his track knowledge and experience from last season will pay dividends this year. I really enjoy working with Matthew, as he is passionate and hardworking, yet has a great sense of humour. Matthew is a great asset to our team. I’m confident he will be challenging up front all season long.”
Matthew started karting at the age of 13, competing in the province of Alberta. In 2015 and 2016, he raced in the Rotax Summer Challenge, where he was crowned the Jr. Rotax Champion at the end of both seasons. In 2016, he also won the Can-Am Karting Challenge Jr. Rotax championship, which earned him a prestigious ticket to the Rotax World Finals in Sarno, Italy, where he competed against 71 drivers from all over the world as part of Team Canada. Taskinen continued to compete in high-level karting events, running the Rotax Summer Challenge in the DD2 category in 2017, winning another championship. The 2017 also featured the start of his car racing career, as the young Canadian joined Exclusive Autosport for three F1600 races. Matthew has multiple race wins throughout Canada and the United States in karting, and he hopes to continue this level of performance this year in the team’s F1600 car.
“I did a few races with Exclusive Autosport last year, along with some testing,” offered Taskinen. “Having worked with Exclusive before, I have had time to get to know the system that Michael has going inside the tent. Exclusive Autosport has a great bunch of guys working there and it’s an amazing system that I am lucky to have on my side, which will hopefully lead me to a fun and successful season in the Exclusive F1600 car.”
Taskinen will kick off his full-time season on the May 26 -27 weekend at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec at the opening round of the F1600 Canada series Quebec.