The Lionheart Challenge Series stayed in Japan and made the 7 hour trip from Suzuka to the oval of Twin Ring Motegi! Andrew Kinsella took the pole and led the field to the green flag, but the pack racing nature of the Nissan meant that the lead was swapped before they made it back to the line!
The first caution of the day came out on lap 3 when Jake Wright lost the rear end in turn 3. Turn 3 and 4 proved to be challenging for drivers as Wright spin was only the first of several spins to occur during the course of the race.
The final caution of the race ended on lap 56, giving drivers an 11 lap shootout to the end. Scott McClendon made another great run from deep in the field, making his way all the way up to the front duke it out with Ryan Otis for the win!
McClendon would fight with Otis out of turn 4 and just narrowly beat him to the line in what is the closest finish the season has seen so far! Otis would come home second, only 00.015 behind McClendon! Ron Hacker would find him self on the podium in third! Mitchell Mohler would come home fourth! And Brian Beard would round out the top five!
Next week the challenge series heads back to the states to run their Corvette C.6s at the road course of Daytona!
The Lionheart Challenge Series made their way across the pacific ocean to race the Nissan GTP ZX-T in the land of the rising sun at the Suzuka International Racing Course!
Ryan Otis put down the fastest lap in qualifying, and led the field to the green flag. On lap three, Otis would make a mistake in the final corner and gave up the lead to Jake Wright, who had been on his tail, along with Justin Weaver and Stephen Laarkmap.
With under 10 minutes left in the race, a few laps after their one and only pit stop. Otis would make a move on Wright into the turn 10 hairpin, and the two would fight side by side exiting the hairpin, and all the way through the long sweeping turn 12, and into the spoon curve of turn 13, where Otis would pull his car in front of Wight!
Otis would lead the final laps to take home the win in Japan, Wright would try to catch him, but couldn’t make it happen and finished second. Stephen Laarkamp would come home third, Justin Weaver would finish fourth, and Scott McClendon would finish a very impressive run after starting in twentieth, finishing fifth!
The Lionheart Challenge Series will stay in Japan as the take their Nissan’s to the Oval of Twin Ring Motegi, which is looking to be a great show!
Jake Wright became to first person aside from Ryan Otis to win a challenge series race, this time on the oval in Phoenix!
Wright Started his Porsche on pole, and led the first 21 laps before Dan Geren passed Wright for the lead!
Geren and Wright would fight all the way until the final pit stop of the race, when Geren sped on pit road, giving up the lead to Wright.
On lap 88, a caution would fly to bunch up the field for a final 5 lap dash! The green flag flew for the final time on lap 92, but wouldn’t last long as a caution flew only a lap later to end the race.
Wright would maintain his position on the final restart, Stephen Laarkamp would Finish 2nd, Justin Weaver finished 3rd, Scott McClendon and Ryan Otis would round out the top 5.
Next week the challenge series switches things up again, taking the Nissan GTP ZX-T over to Japan to run the Suzuka International Racing Course!
Ryan Otis remained king of the road, and the Lionheart Challenge Series, with his third win in as many tries, this time conquering the Nürburgring Nordschleife in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Otis took the lead from pole winner Adam Blocker on lap 4, and paced the final 4 laps. The timed 45-minute race lasted 7 laps.
Blocker came home second, 3.3 seconds behind Otis despite running the quickest lap of the race.
Travis Jegerlehner came home third, leapfrogging Jake Wright, who finished fourth. Stephen Laarkamp took fifth.
24 911 GT3’s took the green flag from a standing start. 16 finished on the lead lap.
The Lionheart Challenge Series next heads to Phoenix International Raceway to test the Porsche 911 GT3’s on an oval. That race takes place Thursday, January 18, 2018.
Ryan Otis picked up his second win in as many races in the Lionheart Challenge Series Thursday night. Week two saw the drivers tackle the Australian V8 Supercars at the Milwaukee Mile, a combination that provided a classic race.
Otis led a race-high 55 laps from the outside pole, but had to hold off a litany of Lionheart stars over numerous late-race restarts, but held on until a caution with two laps to go sealed the win.
The opening laps saw an epic battle between Otis, polesitter Dan Geren, Justin Weaver, Adam Blocker, Woody Mahan, Jason Galvin and Jake Wright. Each mixed it up until the first caution flew, and Galvin elected to stay out.
Galvin would use a good restart to separate himself from the battle behind, leading the next 31 laps until being forced to pit for fuel under green. Drivers remained clean as the same group continued to battle upfront through green flag pit stops 20 laps later, the final stops of the race.
A caution flew as stops concluded, setting up several sprint runs to the finish. Galvin, on old tires and needing those cautions to stretch his fuel and complete his one-stop strategy, continued to pester the leaders, swapping spots with Wright and Blocker, each on fresher tires, throughout the restarts.
Each time, Otis would open up a small advantage, before another mid-pack spin brought out a yellow.
On the final restart with six laps remaining, Galvin, Wright and Blocker barreled into turn one, all making contact. In a classic Supercar moment, each driver powered through the slides.
Blocker finished second as the final yellow flew, with Wright third and Weaver taking advantage of Galvin’s older tires to finish fourth. Galvin held on for fifth.
The Lionheart Challenge Series, a division meant to entertain fans across the globe during the offseason of the Lionheart Racing Series, moves to the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for the next two events: first, at the world famous Nurburgring Nordschleife, then on the oval of Phoenix International Raceway.
The series will also drive the Nissan GTP ZX-T, Corvette C6.R GT1 and Ferrari 488 GTE at tracks like Twin Ring Motegi’s oval, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Monza and Le Mans before turning over a new racing calendar in March for season five of the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment and season two of the Lionheart Retro Series.
Ryan Otis won the race, and remained undefeated in the process, but it was rookie Dustin Wardlow who captured the first Lionheart Challenge Series championship in the season finale at Sebring International Raceway.
“Thank you guys, this is awesome,” Wardlow said as the Radical SR-8’s slowed on the cool-down lap.
Wardlow was a model of consistency, finishing in the top 10 in all ten events, with seven top 5’s. Despite failing to win a race, Wardlow edged Ryan Otis by 9 points.
Otis started just eight races, but dominated the series in those starts, winning all eight while winning five poles. Travis Jegerlehner, another Lionheart newcomer, finished third in points, with Ronald Hacker and Vincent Bluthenthal the top five.
Otis dominated the season finale at Sebring. The pole sitter relinquished the lead to Wardlow for two early laps, but then made his move and never looked back, leading 36 while beating Jake Wright by just over 2 seconds. Wardlow settled into third to secure the championship.
“This car is so much fun,” Otis said. “Too bad I missed some races.”
The Challenge Series saw 46 drivers take a green flag in its first season, with 18 starting at least half the events. The series expanded from the original MX-5 Challenge, and will continue towards the end of the year.
The league turns its attention to the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, with 40 of the world’s best iRacing fixed setup IndyCar drivers set to embark on season five, with a record number of prizes, when the cars hit Homestead Miami Speedway on March 1 for the First Medical 200, live on Global SimRacing Channel at 10:40 p.m. EST.
The Lionheart Retro Series returns to the track for round three at the historic Watkins Glen International on February 23. That race can also be viewed on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:40 p.m. EST.
The Lionheart Challenge Series is coming to a close as the drivers compete in the penultimate race of the season! Ryan Otis would lead the entire race, but it wasn't an easy stroll to victory lane! For the first half of the race, the top four cars were nose to tail, sometimes even side-by-side through the back half of the Mid-Ohio Race Course!
Mid-Ohio was, as expected, a very difficult track to pass other drivers on, which meant positions were a premium! Jake Wright would finish second, David Altman would finish third, Travis Jegerlehner would take fourth, and Dustin Wardlow would round out the Top 5!
Next week we head to Sebring, to the the final race of the season! The Championship battle will no doubt be exciting to watch! Dustin Wardlow leads the championship by a good 27 points over Ron Hacker in second! So be sure to join us in the sunshine state for the season finale! We'll see you there!
83 Laps in the books as the Lionheart Challenge Series raced the second oval of the season! Lucas Oil proved to be difficult for drivers to pass, With the outside line being the dominate lane! That proved no problem for Bob Mikes, as he started on the pole and led all 83 laps!
Michael Goodman Finished second, Pierre Daigle Finished third, Andre Kinsella took fourth, and Rory Collins took fifth to round out the Top 5!
Come out and join us for the penultimate race of the season at Mid-Ohio!
The Lionheart Challenge headed overseas this week to the UK to race at the Donington Park Racing Circuit! The sky's of Britain decided to cause problems with the drivers when it started to rain which shortly became a thunderstorm, which race officials deemed unsafe for the drivers to keep racing. They threw the red flag but because the race hadn't hit the half-way mark, the race wasn't over!
The next day drivers returned to the track after the storms passed to finish the race! Ryan Otis and Dustin Wardlow would battle up front to try and score much needed points! Before starting the race, Warldow would lead the championship by 14 points over second, which meant Otis needed to score the most amount of points he can, which he did by winning the race after a long fought battle with Wardlow!
David Wardlow would finish second, Carter Kundinger would finish third, Jason Galvin would finish fourth, and Ron Hacker would finish fifth to round out the top 5! And with Ryan Otis winning the race, he would move into second in the championship, only 11 points behind Dustin Wardlow!
Next week we head to the Mid-West to the at the second oval on the season schedule! Come out and join us at the Lucas Oil Raceway!
The Challenge Series headed to sunny Southern California to race at the Long Beach Street Circuit! The race lasted a total of 32 laps with Travis Jegerlehner leading all of them! Long Beach was arguably the most difficult circuit on the schedule, with the close walls and bumpy surface claiming many drivers!
There were a lot of position changes at Long Beach... Jake Wright moved up to second, David Altman moved up to third, Dustin Wardlow fell back to fourth, and Rory Collins moved into fifth! Ryan Otis wasn't able to attend the race unfortunately, which meant he would drop down to third in the championship. Dustin Wardlow moved up to first to lead the championship!
Next week we head overseas to the UK to race at Donington Park! Come out and join us!