Grand Prix a pit stop on racing fan's journey

By Jamie Harkins

June 22, 2017 12:00 AM

F1600 RACING The Team of Exclusive Autosport, with back row from left, Connor Hugo, Christophe Boisclair, Dylan Dunsmore, Joe Penner, Olivier Lampron, Alex Fedurco; front row, team owner Michael Duncalfe and driver Parker Thompson, recently competed in F1600 preliminary races at the Montreal Grand Prix. SUBMITTED PHOTO

One local racing fan is having a dream start to the summer.
Lloydminster’s Dylan Dunsmore took part in the 50th Annual Montreal F1 Grand Prix on June 10 and 11, as a member of the Team of Exclusive Autosport.
Dunsmore, 24, is an engineer with the Montreal-based F1600 Championship Cars racing group.
“I’m currently just an intern right now,” said Dunsmore, who joined Exclusive Autosport about four months ago.
“I have an eight month internship, so since I’m really new to this, I’m basically trying to absorb as much information as I can. But, I sit in on driver debriefings after races to figure out what the driver felt in the car, which helps the engineers decide what changes need to be made to make the car more drivable.”
Dunsmore said his work at their shop in Blainville, Que., includes setting up the cars, tearing them apart, and fixing any problems as a normal mechanic would do. He said there is also a lot of reading on different set ups and design aspects of the cars outside of work, making the job more like a university experience.
The Team of Exclusive Autosport fielded five cars in the preliminary races at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on both the Saturday and Sunday events. All five F1600 cars finished in the top 11 on the first day and took four of the top five spots on the second day with Exclusive Autosport driver Parker Thompson capturing first place in both races.
Dunsmore noted the opportunity to do his job while standing down in pit lane at the Montreal Grand Prix was incredible. He added the track is really fast with the F1600 cars being able to reach over 200 kilometres an hour on the straights.
“It’s super exciting,” he said. “There was a 30-some car grid and the racing is all so competitive. Our racing is actually more exciting to watch than the F1 race. The second race our two guys finished first and second and their times differed by a hundredth of a second. So it was really close.”
As an engineer with Exclusive Autosport, Dunsmore accompanies the team to each of their races. This includes dates at Mont-Tremblant, Trois-Rivières and Montreal for the F1600 Quebec Series, Toronto’s Mosport Park in the Canadian Series and across the United States, including a stop in Elkhart Lake, Wis., this weekend, for events with the USF2000 Championship Series.
Dunsmore said the love for racing and cars came at an early age. He said growing up he was always tinkering in the garage with his dad and accompanying him to the Saskatoon International Raceway on the weekends to watch races, leading to a desire to get into the engineering field.
“The whole experience has been amazing,” said Dunsmore, noting the end goal is a career in Europe working on a high-level racing series. “I’ve been learning a ton. It’s been go, go, go, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it. The owners are very supportive of the team which is a huge aspect. It’s been a wild ride so far.”

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