Entering three Spectrum 014 chassis in its first full-time campaign in the United States for Andrews, Mitchell Jr. and Canada's Thomas McGregor, Exclusive Autosport, the reigning Canadian Toyo Tires F1600 A-Class Champions and Formula Tour F1600 Pro-Class Champions, had hoped for a strong showing at the Georgia track and they duly delivered.
Saturday's opening race at the 12-turn, 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit brought the first of the team's four podium finishes from the weekend as Scott Andrews powered home the #94 Exclusive Autosport entry to third place. His team-mates weren't far behind with Mitchell Jr. fifth and McGregor immediately behind in sixth.
Sunday's pair of outings would bring the wins sought by team-owner Michael Duncalfe, the Saskatoon-born boss keen to translate the team's Canadian dominance into similar form in the United States.
Andrews answered the call with a charge from tenth on the grid to take the team's first victory in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, the win all the more significant for the Australian driving the Spectrum chassis built in his home country. In another close encounter, McGregor and Mitchell Jr. weren't far behind taking fourth and fifth at the flag respectively.
Sunday afternoon's final round was equally fruitful with a race-long battle for the lead being fought out primarily between Andrews and Mitchell Jr.
It was the 18-year-old American, behind the wheel of the #92 entry, who made the move stick over his team-mate on the final lap to take his first win of the season and Exclusive Autosport's second of the day. Andrews claimed third to secure his third straight podium finish and to take the series lead exiting Road Atlanta while McGregor bagged another solid fifth place finish in the #93 car.
"To come here on the opening weekend in F1600 Formula F and take two wins from three races, I'd describe myself as pleased but not satisfied," reflected Exclusive Autosport team-owner Michael Duncalfe. "The crew worked extremely hard in the shop the past two weeks including three straight 18 hour days this week to build our new 2015 Spectrum that had only arrived last Sunday evening. The drivers then produced results that repaid that hard work and highlighted the strengths we have as a team overall.
"Scott now leads the championship and he led laps in every race so that certainly bodes well considering he's a rookie with us. Jack had a good weekend, the high point this afternoon's win. Thomas had some solid finishes, he was battling throughout and we know he's got more to showcase. Our aim is to have strong finishes and to have all our cars come home with four corners on them. We delivered that and more in Road Atlanta but we know we're going to have to keep pushing to build that momentum and fight for the championship."
F1600 Formula F Championship Series - Exclusive Autosport Driver Quotes:
Jack Mitchell Jr (@JackMitchell80): #92 Exclusive Autosport / Exclusive Management Inc. / Spectrum / Sparco / Honda Racing HPD
Race 1 Saturday 11th April – Qualified: 6th / Finished: 5th
Race 2 Sunday 12th April – Qualified: 3rd / Finished: 5th
Race 3 Sunday 12th April – Qualified: 8th / Finished: 1st
Quote: "I'm really happy with the weekend, especially capping it off with victory in Race 3 on Sunday. The car was just perfect from the get-go, we had the pace to run at the front in all of the races. I'm thrilled to have bagged the win as it was a close fought battle all the way to the checkered. Michael (Duncalfe) made great calls on the radio, our strategy worked and all in all, I can't thank Exclusive Autosport enough for a great weekend."
Thomas McGregor (@TMacRacing): #93 Exclusive Autosport / Exclusive Management Inc. / Dairy Queen / Spectrum / Sparco / Honda Racing HPD
Race 1 Saturday 11th April – Qualified: 10th / Finished: 6th
Race 2 Sunday 12th April – Qualified: 5th / Finished: 4th
Race 3 Sunday 12th April – Qualified: 3rd / Finished: 5th
Quote: "It was a little bit of a disappointing weekend for me personally speaking. I struggled a bit but certainly not for the lack of hard work from all the guys at Exclusive Autosport. On the plus side I had solid race finishes and I avoided most of the carnage that was happening around me on track. I've got a lot of confidence in the Spectrum package so I'm looking forward to a stronger showing next time out at Watkins Glen."
Scott Andrews (@scottandrews44): #94 Exclusive Autosport / Exclusive Management Inc. / Helmart / Automobility PTY Ltd / Spectrum / Sparco / Honda Racing HPD
Race 1 Saturday 11th April – Qualified: 4th / Finished: 3rd
Race 2 Sunday 12th April – Qualified: 10th / Finished: 1st
Race 3 Sunday 12th April – Qualified: 7th / Finished: 3rd
Quote: "Well we rolled out fast, which I expected, and it turned out to be a great weekend. The team's hard work really paid off and I got up to speed quickly learning how to really use the draft in the races. I'm stoked to get my first international F1600 victory, it means a lot to me and especially to achieve it with this team. As a proud Australian it's also great to win in an Australian built car. It's all happy days so far!"
Running from April through to October, the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, takes in some of America's notable circuits including Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, Virginia International Raceway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, New Jersey Motorsports Park and the brand new Pittsburgh International Race Complex.
Formed in 2013, Exclusive Autosport has quickly forged a reputation as one of North America's premier junior formula outfits. Championship success came quickly under Michael Duncalfe's leadership with notable achievements including back-to-back driver titles in 2013 and 2014 in the Canadian Toyo Tires F1600 A-Class Championship and in the Quebec Formula Tour 1600 Pro-Class Championship.
Exclusive Management Inc. is the official North American Importer and Distributor for Spectrum Chassis, designed and produced by Borland Racing Developments in Australia.
From Stuart Morrison Public Relations