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Dec 03, 2013 - 05:43 PM
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Formula 1600: Hanratty Reflects on Successful Rookie Season
Posted by: newsla on Dec 03, 2013 - 05:41 PM
Support Series News
Formula 1600: Hanratty Reflects on Successful Rookie Season


Poised, professional, fast. Words that describe Max Hanratty, a 20-year old race car driver from Hartland, Wisconsin. The young-adult began his racing career only a year and a half ago, however despite limited racing experience, Hanratty consistently found himself in the top ten and challenging for podium finishes. His natural talent, drive, determination and work ethic pushed him to new limits in 2013 making this rookie look, think and drive like a seasoned veteran.

 

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Hanratty competed in both the Ontario Toyo Tires F1600 Championship and the Quebec Formula Tour 1600 Championship. He focused his efforts on the Ontario championship where he finished 4th in the A-Class with two podiums and 12 top-ten finishes. At the beginning of the competitive season (May 2013) Hanratty was focused on aquatinting himself with the Spectrum Honda F1600, refining his driving skills and developing his race craft. He finished 7th and 6th in his first weekend in the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship - well beyond his and the teams expectations. As the season progressed, so did Hanratty’s performance. By the mid-point of the season he started to challenge upfront and became a consistent top 5 driver and began challenging for podium finishes. Hanratty had the race of his life during the second last race of the Toyo Tires Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Up for grabs, was the coveted Can-Am Cup, an award with rich history in Canadian F1600 racing, given to the winner of the second last race of the season. Hanratty maneuvered into the lead on the first lap where he remained for three quarters of the race. Hanratty did not buckle under pressure and led lap after lap with a field of 20 plus hungry competitors breathing down his neck. He was poised to take his first win in F1600, however was unfortunately taken out by a fellow competitor, ending his day early. Although a disappointing finish for the young driver, leading the majority of the race was a critical milestone for Hanratty.

He also made numerous appearances in the Formula Tour 1600 Championship including the prestigious F1 Montreal Grand Prix. In front of hundreds of thousands of cheering racing fans, Hanratty finished an impressive 10th out of 36 cars.

Hanratty may not have collected a championship this year, however for him and the Exclusive Autosport team, he was victorious this season.

“2013 was a year dedicated to growth and development. I wasn’t out to win a championship. I wanted to soak up as much knowledge as I could from Michael Duncalfe (Exclusive Autosport team owner), Remi Lanteigne (Engineer) and my incredible teammates. The environment that Exclusive Autosport created is so professional and was built for drivers to grow in. Being a part of this team was priceless. At the beginning of the year, it (racing) was a lot for me. I worked hard to not get overwhelmed. I learned so much over the course of one season and really became a competitive force towards the end of the year,” said Hanratty. “Looking back, my first season racing with Exclusive Autosport was incredible. It has been a huge team effort this year and I look forward to continue growing as a driver.”

Team owner Michael Duncalfe was very pleased with Hanratty’s progression and success on track this past year.

“Max’s desire to be successful both on and off the track is one of his strengths. He puts in the time off track studying track notes and data, doing everything he possible can to ensure that when he arrives at the track he has all the knowledge he should so that he can go out and be the fastest he can be on track. Because Max has only been racing for a year and a half he had huge shoes to fill (so to speak) because all of his teammates have won races and championships at various levels. Some drivers would be discouraged by this, however this motivated Max. He wants to be one of the best drivers in the world and he took this opportunity to work with his teammates and the team to make the most of it. Max showed consistent progression all year and was a contender towards the end of the season. He made a strong statement to his competitors that he is definitely a driver to watch out for. There is no doubt in our mind that he will be challenging for podium finishes and wins next year. With heads up driving and consistent performance he has the ability to string a championship together,” said Duncalfe.

Although the competitive season has wrapped up, Hanratty’s work as a driver is far from over. His focus has now shifted to off-season training, including a rigorous physical training program, video analysis and on-track testing. Also high on his priority list is taking care of the business side of the sport. Sponsorships and partnerships are a vital part of the motorsports industry. Hanratty is working with his management team to secure partnerships for the 2014 racing season.

“I appreciate all of the hard work that is put into my program and I want to thank everyone involved in the Exclusive Autosport operation and my partners: SynerComm Inc., Honda Performance Development, and Sparco USA. These Partners make it all possible and I can’t stress enough how thankful I am to have them on board.” continued Hanratty.

Announcements surrounding Hanratty’s 2014 racing plans will be made in the new year.


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