The inaugural season of the Lionheart Racing Series was filled with plenty of excitement, expectations, trial and error, and drama. The first season started July 3, 2014 at Michigan with 2 winners in Michael Chinn and Danno Brookins, and finished at Auto Club on November 12 with Jesse Vincent taking the checkers and championship by 1 point over Richard Behr. From starting the season with errors in room setup, trying to figure out qualifying, to coming up with a 2 room setup, moving to a top and bottom split, creating a last chance qualifier, finally moving to a one room setup, we thank each and every member for hanging in there with us while we grew as a league, racers, and friends.
This season we look forward to growing the league even more, and to keep trying new things, like the new points system, to bigger race rooms and beyond, we appreciate all of you and it’s not the admins, it’s the racers, that keep the league going. Our member count is currently at 92, and this season assures to be very tough, with some top racers returning from last season and new racers from the high ranks of the official Indy Car series. Here is a preview/ recap of top drivers from last season.
Champion- Jesse Vincent- Jesse started the season strong with a win at the 2nd race of the season at Homestead, continued by dominating the road courses winning at Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, and Laguna Seca. He also won 2/3 of the Triple Crown at Pocono and Auto Club. Those 6 wins, 9 top 5, and 11 top 10, Jesse has been strong in the offseason as well, and is the top contender to repeat as champion.
Richard Behr- Richard took 2nd in the points with 4 wins, 10 top 5’s and 12 top 10’s. The turning point in the campaign may have been at Chicago, when Richard was issued a 10 point penalty for illegal pit entry. Instead of derailing his season, he fought back, narrowly missing the top spot after strategy in the final race may have done him in, when staying clean, he allowed a couple cars to pass him in the final laps taking a 6th place finish, which allowed Jesse to claim the Championship. Richard no doubt will look to get his revenge and claim the throne that he feels is rightfully his.
Rick Music- Rick was solid all season, claiming a top 10 in all 14 races along with 8 top 5’s and 2 wins early in the season at Homestead and the Indy 250. Consistency throughout the season didn’t quite payoff for Rick, however, finishing 3rd in points. Rick looks to keep that going for 2015.
Danno Brookins- Danno started the season strong and contended all year for the points lead, winning at Michigan. Had some issues in the final two races of the season finishing outside the top 10 in each race, leading to his demise. 10 top 10’s and 6 top 5’s, Danno looks to be strong again this season.
Anthony Lurcock- Anthony lurked in the shadows all season, starting with some top 5 runs, but struggled during the meat of the schedule, and bookended the schedule with 2 top 5’s and a win at Kentucky. Anthony looks for more consistency, and is looking strong in preseason testing.
Joe Hassert- The theme of Joe’s season was errors. Running up front with strong qualifying runs but some bad pit strategy and getting caught up in crashes were the ultimate demise. At Charlotte, he was caught in a wreck, got his car reset drove out of the pits and hit a landmine, ending his race. At Motegi, he led 60 laps and got a speeding penalty. The pit road errors added up along with some impatience leading to some walls needing some fresh paint, Joe finished 11th in the standings. He has rebounded in the offseason winning the week 13 challenge and the Offseason Short Series picking up 5 wins. He looks to continue his offseason momentum. Joe is currently 2nd overall in the Indy fixed iRacing series and 1st in division 2.
Notables Returning, Trevor Malone, Robert Blouin, John Downing, Vincent Bluthenthal, Krista Nelson- all finished in the top 10 last season. Vincent is the only driver with a win in this group, proving that consistency was key. Jorge Anzaldo is currently 19th overall Indy Car fixed series and finished 2nd in the Week 13 Challenge. Drew Motz took 3rd in the Week 13 Challenge.
Mid-season Pickups- Vern Hawkins, Michael Gray, Tim Doyle, and Korey Connor all ran part time last season running up front consistently. Michael picked up a win at Indy, and Tim made an immediate impact winning his first two races in the league. Korey is currently 25th overall Indy Car fixed.
Notable Newbies- This season has some notable newcomers from the Indy car community including Jon Goke, Ryan Norton, Matt Kingsbury, Ray Kingsbury, Dan Geren, Austin Espitee, Martijn Nagelkerken, Vick Caudill, Jake Gualano and Bud Weissert. Jon is the season 4 Indy Car Fixed iRacing Champion, and leads the current season standings, Matt took 2nd overall season 4 Indy Car open series, Ryan 3rd. Ryan currently leads the Indy Car open Series, Vick 3rd. Dan is currently 7th overall in fixed.
With the strong returning field, the mid- season pickups running a full season, and the strength of the newcomers, this season looks to test even the most seasoned racers. There will be excitement and heartbreak as only 1 can be crowned champion.
We are 24 hours away from season 2 of the Lionheart Indy car Series! Buckle up, you don’t want to miss this!