Adam Blocker proved once again, he is the king of the roads. The Adrenaline Motorsports driver led the final 36 laps after an intense battle with NTT IndyCar Series driver Sage Karam, capturing the win by 52 seconds in the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Barber.
Blocker’s win was his series-leading fourth of 2019 to pace the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“It’s a technical track,” Blocker said. “That wasn’t the points day I had hoped for with Dan (Geren) finishing second, but I’ll definitely take the win!”
Blocker qualified on the pole but relinquished the lead to Karam on the opening lap.
After hounding Karam for the next 17 laps, the two made contact in the turns 8 and 9 sections. Karam saved it, but decided to hit pit lane and try to relieve pressure.
But a mistake on pit entrance changed the dynamic of the race, as Karam slid into the Armco barrier.
Blocker would pit two laps later and never look back.
“I was happy to wait for the pit cycle,” Blocker said. “I was planning on taking an extra lap and trying to jump him. I pressured him and jumped him and it worked out.”
Karam came out behind Dan Geren. After eventually working his way back into second, Karam would again make a mistake, spinning off track and retiring to 28th.
Geren settled into a comfortable second place, doing his best to keep pace in the championship battle.
“I was pretty thrilled,” Geren said. “I got pretty lucky, I hit the wall on pit in on the final pit stop but it was just a front wing replacement. It was still a great finish.”
Brian Yaczik surprised himself with a third place finish after qualifying ninth.
The Loud Pedal Motorsports captain held off the final four lead lap cars to capture a podium.
“I’m not sure how I got here,” Yaczik said. “I didn’t have top five speed and I wasn’t going to go up there and pass those guys. I just let other people make mistakes.”
Connor Harrington led Michael Goodman across to round out the top five, with Dustin Wardlow and Justin Weaver the final cars on the lead lap.
26 of the 35 starters finished the race.
Blocker now leads Geren by a dominant 202 points, although the three drop weeks factored into the standings have yet to be applied.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment heads overseas for a maiden trip around the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza. The Plasma-Tracks Grand Prix of Monza is scheduled for Wednesday, August 21 at 10:35 p.m. EST and can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the broadcast.
The biggest race of the year is now one of the most memorable in league history.
Canadian Andrew Kinsella beat his Adrenaline Motorsports teammate Adam Blocker by .020 seconds - mere inches - in a thrilling Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Indianapolis 500 presented by Dewar’s Candy.
It was the closest margin of victory in Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment history at the Brickyard.
“I knew what I needed to do coming out of four on that last lap,” Kinsella said after winning his first Lionheart Indy 500. “I had just enough of the draft to tow me past at the start finish line. I’ve won a top split official Indy 500, I’ve won the Elite 500. Now I’ve won Lionheart. It’s the Triple Crown of Indy 500’s. This feels amazing.”
Kinsella and Blocker both raced through the field, from 18th and 28th starting positions respectively, to battle for the win with Justin Weaver, Michael Goodman and Big Joe Hassert.
After a clean and green first 150 laps, the final sprint to the finish saw multiple cautions and race favorites eliminated, setting up the final three lap dash to the finish.
Kinsella restarted fourth, with Blocker leading teammates Weaver and Goodman.
After tucking behind Blocker for two laps, Kinsella made his move coming to the white flag, popping to the outside of his teammate and nosing in front at the line.
Blocker pulled back ahead down the back straightaway, as Weaver made it three wide near the outside wall.
Kinsella tucked back in for the final two corners, slingshotting around Blocker as the duo passed pit entrance and hanging on for the win.
“Adam’s best play was to do what he did and stay low and hope I didn’t get the draft,” Kinsella said. “I was just able to get enough of it and get around him at the end. Adam drove a perfect race.”
Blocker hinted that he might have been a little conservative, as he marches towards a possible championship repeat.
“I’m overall pretty satisfied, it was a really good points day and my teammate won,” Blocker said. “I started way back and it was a fight all race to get up there. I feel like I had it in the bag had it gone green to the end. But the last little stint was a little bit of a lottery.”
Weaver just beat Hassert to the line for the final podium spot.
“I’m pretty excited about third,” Weaver said. “It’s great to be up there digging with the leaders. You can’t ask for anymore than to be racing for the lead at the end. It was some fantastic fun during those last few laps.”
Adrenaline’s Tony Showen raced his way to a top five in the scramble at the end.
The race was slowed by five cautions for 14 laps. The final three cautions came inside of 25 laps remaining, and started when the early race favorite Dan Geren (69 laps led) and Joe Branch came together in the short chute between turns one and two. The duo were running fourth and fifth at the time.
Both restarts saw chaos as cars further back tried to march to the front.
Bob Mikes, Jason Galvin, Tyler Graaf, Connor Harrington, Chris Stofer and others were damaged or forced to retire in scuffles either on or just after the final two green flags.
16 cars finished on the lead lap, with 24 of the 34 starters making it to the finish.
Blocker’s championship lead is dominant following Geren’s wreck. The Clemson University student holds a 194 point advantage over the Iowa native, with Kinsella catapulting to third with his win.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment heads to Alabama next for the first half of a double header with its sister Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker.
The Minus 273 Grand Prix of Barber is set for Wednesday, July 24 at 10:35 p.m. EST, live on the iRacing eSports Network. Global SimRacing Channel will handle the call.
The Milk has been drunk. Andrew Kinsella is a Lionheart Indy 500 champion. The Brats have been cooked. The annual Lionheart meetup at the real-life Iowa IndyCar race produced some amazing memories. Now it is time to drive once again. The Minus 273 Grand Prix of Barber is the next challenge for the warriors of the Lionheart IndyCar Series.
Last time at the Indy 500, it all came down to a 3-lap shootout. Points leader Adam Blocker, who started the race in 28th, but worked his way into the lead, and looked to hold off the gaggle of cars behind him. Michael Goodman, Justin Weaver and Tony Showen all took runs at him. Blocker hugged the white line and held them off, but Andrew Kinsella, restarting 4th, shadowed Blocker for 2 laps before making his move. Using Blocker’s draft off of turn 4 with 1 lap to go, Kinsella lead at the line and went side-by-side with his teammate through the first 2 turns. Entering 3, Blocker edged ahead and Kinsella fell in behind again. It turns out that was exactly what Kinsella hoped for. Just like the lap before, Kinsella used Blockers draft to sling shot passed Blocker to take the win at the line by a scant 0.021 seconds. Weaver held off a charging Big Joe Hassert for 4th, while Tony Showen rounded out the top 5. Some early hopefuls met with an early end to their days. Dan Geren was strong for the first half of the race, but some caution flags shuffled him back in the order and as he was moving back through the field, he got tangled with Joe Branch, who had also been strong all day long. Chris Stofer brought out the final caution of the race after leading 27 laps. Stofer was recovering from a penalty when a check-up saw Stofer and Greenlee get together on the front stretch in a spectacular crash.
In other news, this past weekend saw Lionheart’s Iowa meetup at the IndyCar race. Between 45-50 Lionheart drivers, friends and family members all gathered at the IndyCar race to watch Lionheart regular Sage Karam take on the best the NTT IndyCar Series had to offer, and create memories to last a life time.
Now the IndyCar Series drivers shift focus to a brand-new challenge. Barber is back on the IndyCar schedule after it was last run back in season 3. The tight and technical track will be a challenge for all the drivers this week. Precise braking combined with the right mix of bravery and caution will be needed as sweeping multi apex corners give way to tight hairpins.
Coming off his first win in more then a season Andrew Kinsella will be looking to keep the momentum going with a strong showing at Barber. While the Canadian has never been the fastest driver on a road course full stop, he has proven time and again to be able to get a car home in one piece. The adrenaline driver’s foible, however, always seems to be his qualifying run. With passing notoriously difficult at Barber, this will have to change if Kinsella is to have a shot at the podium or a win.
Adam Blocker will be the one he will need to go through, however. Blocker is having a season for the ages, which is saying something with the stacks of talent in Lionheart this year. Karam, Geren, Kinsella, Goodman, Weaver, and Hassert have all shown speed, but the remarkable consistency the Carolina driver has shown simply hasn’t been matched. 11 finishes of 4th or better in 12 races says all that needs to be said. It will take some mistakes and some bad luck for anyone but Blocker to win the title as the season swings to the 2nd half this week.
Speaking of Karam, the Pennsylvania driver has been away from Lionheart the past 2 weeks while driving a real IndyCar. His status for this Wednesday’s race is unknown, but if he is able to make it, look for Karam to be a driver to seriously challenge Blocker for the win.
For another epic Lionheart race, tune into the Minus273 Grand Prix of Barber this Wednesday, July 24th at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network present by GSRC.
Dan Geren was not going to be denied.
The Iowa native took on all challengers and never backed down - rarely even giving up a lap - leading a race-high 102 laps from the pole and capturing the LPM 200 at Texas Motor Speedway Wednesday night.
It was the third win of the season for the Synergy Motorsports driver in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“Clean air was king,” Geren said after leading 102 of 134 laps. “If you could hold the bottom, after about 15 laps the aero wash behind was too hard to deal with.”
Geren held off challenges all race long. Lap after lap, drivers lined up to stake a shot at Geren: Brian Beard, Sage Karam, Connor Harrington, Jason Galvin, Brandon Limkemann, Brian Yaczik and more. Only twice did Geren truly get passed for the lead, and he rocketed back to the front shortly after each time.
“I knew I had to do something after Adam Blocker had issues,” Geren said. “We’re trying to make a move in the points.”
Karam survived a scramble to the finish to hang on for second. A caution with two laps remaining prevent Galvin from making a late charge.
“I knew clean air was everything, so I wanted to be first or second knowing you could run both lanes here,” Karam said. “Happy to come home in second. I just didn’t have the tire to get under Dan at the end.”
Galvin captured third, after nearly wrecking when Damon Martinez forced the Milwaukee winner onto the apron in turn three. The Loud Pedal Motorsports driver charged back to a podium spot using the outside lane late in the race.
“I backed off at one point,” Galvin said. “I had zero faith the front cars were going to make it to the end. I got lucky I was able to battle back to third at the end. That race was insane.”
Joe Branch and Joe Hassert completed the top five.
The race ended under caution when Harrington squeezed four wide entering turn three. The lapped car of Bart Workman was up against the wall, and Harrington came down to make slight contact with Hassert.
While gathering the car, Isaiah Dupree attempted to pass Harrington. Contact between the two shoved Harrington back up into Workman, who hit the wall to bring out the race ending caution.
Dupree held on for seventh, just behind Michael Goodman. Harrington slipped to tenth.
The championship battle regained some intrigue with Geren’s maximum points night (pole, most laps led and no incident points combined with a win).
Defending series champion Adam Blocker was twice swept up in crashes not of his doing.
First, on lap 20, Karam pushed up the hill exiting turn two. Chris Stofer was making his move on the high side and ended up in the wall, with Brandon Limkemann left with nowhere to go.
As Limkemann spun down the track, Blocker plowed into him. Limkemann and Stofer were both unable to continue. Blocker’s pit crew went to work replacing the front wing and trying to salvage a good points finish.
Then, on lap 58, the big one struck. Tyler Graaf pushed exiting turn two, tagging the wall. The ensuing crash took out Blocker, George Sandman, Dustin Wardlow and Marc Cohn.
As a result, Blocker’s lead over Geren shrunk to 122 points. That’s even more important with the double points Indy 500 up next.
The Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Indianapolis 500 presented by Dewar’s Candy is set for Saturday, July 13 at 4:00 p.m. EST. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with presentation by Global SimRacing Channel.
After a short road course and a short oval, it’s time to go to the place where everything is bigger. That’s right, the Lionheart IndyCar series rolls on for it’s 3rd race in 3 weeks at Texas Motor Speedway for the LPM 200. Texas is a fitting scene for this race, as the Lionheart IndyCar series celebrates 5 years on iRacing. The high-banked oval will produce a stiff challenge for the Lionheart drivers as they battle not only each other but the track conditions and tire temperatures as well. There will be drafting, with wheel to wheel action. Their will be tire fall-off, forcing different lines to come into play. Above all, their will be the most talented collection of open wheel drivers on iRacing today. All elements of what makes Lionheart the best IndyCar Series on iRacing today.
Last week at Milwaukee it was Jason Galvin holding off a charging Adam Blocker over the last several laps. It came down to a thrilling side-by-side battle on the last lap, but Galvin was able to come out ahead by a scant 0.062 seconds. Michael Goodman had another strong drive to finish 3rd, while Dan Geren recovered from a 17th place starting position to finish 4th. Justin Weaver rounded out the top 5. Atop the standings it is still the Adam Blocker show, as he rebounded from his season low finish of 4th (!) at Mosport to extend his lead over Dan Geren. 3rd and 4th entering last week were Andrew Kinsella and Connor Harrington, however both drivers had to miss Milwaukee, and so fell 5 and 8 positions respectively. Michael Goodman now lies 3rd in points over Stephen Laarkamp and Dustin Wardlow.
Last time at Texas it was Justin Weaver holding off Andrew Kinsella over a thrilling last few laps of the race to take the win. Dan Geren and Big Joe Hassert also spent significant amounts of time at the front. All 4 will be looking to take advantage of this week to get back into the fight and rack up some points. The man they are all chasing however, is Adam Blocker, who is still yet to finish worse than 4th place in a race. He finished 5th here last year, but the other championship hopefuls will need him to do worse than that if they have any hope of catching the South Carolina driver.
Damon Martinez is continuing to lead the rookie of the year standings and has been in fine form the past few race. Sage Karam, Bryan Carey and John Hill are also having strong rookie seasons. All 4 are threats for the win at Texas if the cards fall right. The rookie race is still wide open and a good result at Texas will set them up well as the series roars towards halfway.
Last week, with Andrew Kinsella missing the week for a vacation and Bryan Carey out early, for the first time this season, Adrenaline Motorsports Red did not top the team standings. With the gap now at 192 points, and the season not yet halfway done, anything can happen. Synergy Motorsports East is the team within striking distance, lead by Dan Geren. Will it be 2 races in a row that they cut into Adrenaline’s lead, or will the return of Kinsella stretch the gap back out?
The LPM 200 from Texas Motorpseedway goes of this Wednesday, July 3rd at 10:35pm eastern. Catch all the action live on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
In the end, it all worked out like it should. At least, that’s what Jason Galvin thought. The Bakersfield, Calif. driver led the most laps in a mostly dominating victory in the Simpit 200 at the virtual Milwaukee Mile Wednesday night.
But the race was not without its oddball moments and featured a thrilling finish on the tight one-mile oval.
“The last ten laps were like hold on for dear life,” Galvin said. “The car was light on fuel, the track was hot, the tires were old. I thought I was wrecked in turn one on the final lap. But it all worked out.”
The win was the fifth of his career for Galvin in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
After capturing his first career pole, Galvin jumped out to an early lead before the race was red flagged following the opening caution on lap five. A race session error caused officials to call for a complete restart, including qualifying.
Over the final 15 laps, Blocker closed the gap to Galvin and made multiple attempts to complete a pass on the outside to no avail.
On the final lap, Galvin’s car pushed wide in turn two, allowing Blocker to get a run down the back straight. After popping to the outside and even taking the lead by a nose in the final corner, Galvin powered back in front on the bottom and won by a half-car length.
The final margin of victory: 0.062 seconds.
“Adam and I have had our moments in the past,” Galvin said. “But we’ve raced so well together this year in the few times we’ve been able to. I respect him so much. He ran clean all night.”
Blocker said he did everything he could to get around Galvin, but ran out of laps.
“As Jason said, I kinda screwed up the strategy a little bit,” Blocker said. “I guess it could’ve gone either way depending on how cautions went. Then we had a incident on the next pit stop, there was a checkup and I hit (Dustin) Wardlow. It was enough to give him a rear wing change and me a front. That put me back.
“Just slowly over the green runs made up track position, taking advantage of others' mistakes in traffic. The last stint, I knew Jason would pit early. I figured he would come out in front of me but I’m not in a position to risk short-pitting because of the points. It worked out because Galvin caught some traffic and I had much better tires, and it really allowed me to attack. Good race to Galvin, that was fun. We raced clean.”
Galvin said he didn’t disagree with the call to form a new session, but was nonetheless selfishly disappointed. In the second session, Galvin qualified third behind championship leader Adam Blocker and Justin Weaver.
Blocker’s decision to pit on a lap 27 caution ultimately may have been the difference in the race.
Galvin stayed out - along with several other top ten cars - and inherited a lead that he would only lose during pit cycles.
“I knew track position was important, I wanted to be out front,” Galvin said. “I don’t think I was the fastest car. I think Adam and Justin and even Mike were all better than me honestly. But track position was everything.”
Michael Goodman came home third, having run in the top five the entire race.
“I had a great night,” Goodman said. “I made a mistake early on and lost some confidence. Then I almost lost the car. I wanna apologize to Justin, it probably ruined his race. But it just feels good to have all the hard work, and see some good results.”
Goodman was part of the biggest scare amongst contenders. On lap 132, the top four of Galvin, Goodman, Weaver and Blocker overtook then-leader Samuel Reiman, who was on the tail end of his fuel run.
As Goodman exited turn two, behind the dirty air of Galvin, the car stepped out. Justin Weaver nearly clobbered Goodman, and Blocker made an evasive move to the inside to jump from fourth to second.
Weaver would pit under a caution two laps later, banking on more wrecks that would allow the Nashville driver to get to the end on fuel.
But the lap 134 caution for Isaiah Dupree’s spin proved to be the final of seven yellow flags.
Weaver inherited the lead for a few laps late in the event, but had to hit pit road with 10 laps remaining for a splash of fuel. Weaver settled for fifth, right behind Dan Geren. Big Joe Hassert was sixth after starting 25th, the biggest mover in the race.
Weaver’s fuel stop setup the dramatic dash to the end between Galvin and Blocker, leading to the closest finish in Milwaukee history in the Lionheart series.
The 2019 running of the Simpit 200 was much cleaner than last year’s event. After a record 17 cautions in 2018, the seven yellow flags this year were seen as a surprise.
19 of the 34 starters finished the race. 12 cars finished on the lead lap.
Blocker’s points lead improved to 172 over Geren. Andrew Kinsella missed the event, falling to eighth in points. As a result, Michael Goodman jumped to third, a stark 71 points behind Geren.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment returns this week. The LPM 200 at Texas Motor Speedway is set for Wednesday, July 3 at 10:35 p.m. EST. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action. Justin Weaver is the defending winner of the event.
July 1, 2014 is the day where an idea was put into motion and became reality. This idea simply came from the desire to compete against friends and take IndyCar racing on iRacing to the next level. After several months of careful planning the Lionheart Racing Series league was officially created.
July 3, 2014 hosted the very first Lionheart races at Michigan International Speedway. The response to the league was so overwhelming especially with the recent release of the DW12. 67 drivers showed up to the inaugural event and as a result splits were created. Michael Chinn won Race 1 over Marc Melcher. Race 2 saw Danno Brookins win over Kouichi kitamura. Lionheart was not the first IndyCar league on iRacing but it was certainly one of the first to utilize the new Dallara. Dan Wheldon himself had the honor of being the first to test drive the new car. Even more fitting that the league would be used as a means to pay homage to the fallen Indy 500 Champion.
Speaking of friends, I began my journey on iRacing alone with the sole purpose of competing in the virtual IndyCar Series. I was invited to a private chat server by a fellow iRacer Justin Lane who was friendly and welcoming. It was through this chat server that I met many of the original members of Lionheart many of which are still racing with us today. Who knows if I hadn’t stumbled upon and met Justin perhaps, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have met so many of the people that helped make Lionheart a reality back in year one?
An idea alone would not be enough to push the league forward and gain the momentum that it would need to continue expanding each and every year into what it is today. To the “founding fathers” of Lionheart who were there in the early days helping me take this dream of mine and set it on the right path I owe you my sincerest gratitude. Joe Hassert, Drew Motz and Robert Blouinare a few of those that were there at the beginning brainstorming, planning and discussing all of the “what if’s” which were instrumental in creating our rulebook and overall strategy in how we would run the league.
We also cannot forget Ryan Lewis, friend and fellow iRacer who was there in the beginning as we searched and struggled for a name? Boy did we go through so many different possible names! Ryan who seemed to just come out of nowhere uttered the words “Why don’t we call it Lionheart?” Being the huge Dan Wheldon fan that he was it made sense that he came up with that idea. From there we decided that yes, Lionheart was a perfect name and the league would be a perfect platform to honor him.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. All of which have given their time and shared their talents so generously to the league. The Lionheart Administration team and its support staff have supported me and this league through the last 5 years I would like to thank the following individuals for their efforts in making Lionheart what it has become. Patrick Taylor, Joe Hassert, Drew Motz, Robert Blouin, Pierre-Alexandre Daigle, David Korty, Andrew Kinsella, Tyler Graaf, Alex Saunders, Jason Galvin. Thank you all and everyone that has sacrificed their personal time to help keep the league running in the manner it has been over the last 7 seasons.
I would also like to give thanks to all the drivers past and present who have competed in Lionheart. Without our drivers there is no league. The admin team has worked tirelessly to provide the best racing and atmosphere for its members. Our members have responded with a level of dedication any league owner would be proud of. They respond week in and week out providing some of the most exciting Sim Racing on the iRacing service. My hat goes off to you all as it has been an absolute honor racing with you all over the past 5 years. I look forward to all the battles and stories that will be told as we look ahead to the next 5 years.
Lionheart has also had the pleasure of having nearly all of its races broadcast since the finale of Season 1 at Auto Club Speedway. To all the staff at Global SimRacing Channel thank you for your professionalism and service to our series, its members and fans. All that you do blends perfectly into one amazing incredible production. One that has helped grow the popularity of the league each and every season. Sean Ambrose thank you for your friendship and guidance in the early years and for being a part of so many of our broadcasts. Amjed and Joe Peak your work keeping everything running smoothly, Dougie with the best cameras in Sim Racing. Soup thank you for continuing to work with us and Richie for coming on board adding that extra element to the commentary. Big thanks as well to Adam Young, Jason Galvin, Brian Yaczik and all the others who have been a part of a Lionheart broadcast.
I wanted to take the time to give thanks to all our sponsors. It is because of you that this league has grown the way it has and allowed us to provide some of the most amazing prizes to our drivers. I thank you for putting your trust in Lionheart to represent your brands with integrity and honor. Big thanks to all our season sponsor’s First Medical Equipment, SimXperience Racing Simulators, The ButtKicker, SMC and Sam Maxwell, Scott Rhea with Plasma-Tracks Race Track Wall Art and Motorsports Trophies, Minus273, Scott MacKenzie with Clipping That Apex, IracingIflag, Turn Racing, Shaun Cole at The Simpit, Tyler Graaf with GRAAFix, all the guys over at Guys Games and Beer, the The DMLC Racing Channel, Scott Rupp with Midwest Simulations, Jennifer Harrington with Viva Motorsport, and Trak Racer.
Thank you to all of the Lionheart members who have sponsored races each and every season. It is so very much appreciated and we cannot thank you enough!
Dustin Wardlow, Loud Pedal Motorsports, Brian Greenlee, Marc Lavry Cohn, Marc Aumick, Patrick Taylor Family, Bob Mikes, Scott Johnson, and each and every member who has sponsored a race. Thank you so very much.
Brandon Limkemann and all the family and First Medical Equipment,I wanted to personally thank you for being the title sponsor of our Lionheart IndyCar Series for the past 4 seasons and for your friendship. Your support has been pivotal in providing all of the operating and logistical services for its drivers. Everyone at Lionheart owes you a great deal of gratitude.
I want to thank our Series Champions. Jesse Vincent IndyCar Series Seasons 1 &2. Jake Wright IndyCar Series Seasons 3,4 and 5. Adam Blocker Season 6. Jake Wright Retro Series Season 1. Adam Blocker Retro Series Season 2. Congratulations on your accomplishments.
Let’s see what the next 5 years will bring?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIONHEART!
From the shortest road course on the schedule to one of the shortest ovals. The Lionheart IndyCar Series roars into Milwaukee on a short week of rest, for a race that will be tall on action! The oldest race track in America plays host to the virtual IndyCars of the Lionheart series at the Simpit 200 from the Milwaukee Mile.
Last week at Mosport was a wild ride for the Lionheart Series. Sage Karam was on poll, but it was Adam Blocker getting the jump on Karam. To good a jump it turned out, as Blocker would be penalized with a stop and go penalty for jumping the start. Tyler Graaf spun trying to pass a lapped car out of a strong 4th place, collecting 5th place Andrew Kinsella. Both drivers would continue on, but finished well back of where their pace deserved. There were several incidents at the Moss corners, with Damon Martinez notable getting loose a couple of times, loosing himself positions. In the end, Karam would not be denied a win, with George Sandman and Michael Goodman rounding out the podium. Adam Blocker battled back from outside the top 20 after his early penalty to finish 4th, stretching his points lead further in the process, while Connor Harrington finished 5th.
A different sort of challenge awaits the Lionheart drivers at their next event. The flat Milwaukee Mile is notoriously tough to pass, and tire wear will be a factor all day long as the drivers battle not only themselves, but the conditions and track as well.
Dan Geren is one who needs a bounce back race. The Midwest driver had a tough time at Mosport finishing 26th after several incidents put him back in the field. The Synergy Motorsports driver is still lying 2nd in the points, 162 behind Adam Blocker, despite having the most incidents points on the roster. Geren could really use a clean race to jump start his season and mount a charge against Blocker.
Lying 5th in championship standings, Stephen Laarkamp has been getting strong and stronger this season, with consistent to 10 finishes the last few races. With his rookie of the year rival from last year, Connor Harrington, lying just ahead of him in 4th place, the sophomore driver is solely working his way into the championship conversation.
Of course, the man all 3 of these drivers are chasing is Adam Blocker. Despite the penalty at Mosport, Blocker managed to maintain his 9-race streak of top 5 finishes to start the season, and last Wednesday’s 4th place represents the lowest finishing position so far, the season for the Adrenaline Motorsports driver. At this stage, and with the form Blocker is in, it is safe to say that only misfortune might be able to derail the season for Blocker.
If there ever was a track with that potential, it could be Milwaukee. Tire degradation plays a huge part in the races here and nailing the strategy could be the difference between a win and finishing outside the top 20. Then there are the curbs. Milwaukee is one of the few oval tracks that actually has raised curbing at on the inside of the track at both ends. Hit the curbing right and it could be the fast way around the track. Hit it wrong, however and there is a good chance you will be spinning into the path of another car, creating a chain reaction crash that can take out several cars at once.
Watch on Wednesday June 26th as the Lionheart drivers tackle the Milwaukee Mile at the Simpit 200 at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
It might as well have been a Sunday cruise to the beach for Sage Karam. The NTT IndyCar Series competitor led all but three laps en route to his second win of the season, capturing the Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport Wednesday night.
Karam beat George Sandman by over 16 seconds.
“That was a pretty calm, good night,” Karam said. “There was more lapped traffic than on a bigger course, and it’s a fast track. It can get sketchy with lapped traffic...but everyone was good tonight.”
A much anticipated duel between Karam and defending Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment champion Adam Blocker never developed.
Blocker jumped the initial start of the race and was black flagged by the sim, causing an early trip to pit lane.
Blocker fought his way back through the field to finish fourth, in a true championship-caliber drive.
Sandman worked his way around Michael Goodman early and had a comfortable run to second, his best finish in the IndyCar series.
“Sage just left us in the dust,” Sandman said. “At that point on, I just wanted to maintain a distance on Goodman behind me. I pitted a little early to avoid lapped traffic and that seemed to help. I wish I would’ve been closer to Sage but he just pulled away.”
Goodman - who led a lap during pit cycles - finished third, with Blocker running out of time in his pursuit of a podium.
“I actually finished without hitting anything,” Goodman joked when asked if he had any exciting moments in his race. “It was a good race. I’m just happy to finish one of these things. No driver error, I’ll take it.”
The event ran caution free.
Blocker finished ahead of Connor Harrington to cap the top five.
Andrew Kinsella was the only other leader, pacing the field for two laps during pit stops. Kinsella finished eleventh.
A few expected contenders encountered problems and ended the race with disappointing finishes.
An internet connection issue saw former road course winner Dustin Wardlow retire after just eleven laps. Wardlow finished 29th.
Championship runner-up Dan Geren struggled to a 26th place finish, three laps down. Geren was also the only driver penalized for excessive incidents, losing three more championship points.
Blocker’s point lead looks almost insurmountable at such an early stage in the season, but drop weeks have yet to be factored in and the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment allows for three such weeks.
Blocker leads Geren by an astounding 162 points. Both double points races, including the Lionheart Indy 500, have yet to be run as well, and could swing the points dramatically.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment continues a run of three consecutive race weeks with a return to ovals and a short track.
The Simpit 200 at the historic Milwaukee Mile is set for Wednesday night. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action, at 10:35 p.m. EST.
The Toronto Raptors are NBA champions. A phrase most NBA fans never thought they would utter. Fittingly, Toronto is also the next stop on the Lionheart IndyCar Series’ calendar. Just down the road from the largest theme park, “Canada’s Wonderland” lies a roller coaster of a different variety. The sweeping turns and rolling hills of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, better known as Mosport, play host to round 9 of the Lionheart IndyCar Series, for the Thumb Up Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport.
Last-time out at Twin Ring Motegi, our defending champion Adam Blocker made Lionheart history, becoming the first driver in series history to win 3 straight race. After taking both races in Detroit, Blocker used timely fuel strategy and a very light right foot to pull away from the field at the end of the race at Motegi. Blocker has simply dominated the season, having yet to finish worse then 3rd in any race this year. Ron Hacker and Joe Hassert also fuel-saved their way to top 3 finishes, While Damon Martinez and Brandon Limkemann rounded out the top 5 with there respective best finishes of the season.
The story of the season however is Blocker. The Adrenaline Motorsports driver has kicked off his title defence with the strongest 8 races Lionheart has ever seen to start the season. Despite 2 wins of his own, Dan Geren finds himself 131 points back, with Andrew Kinsella a massive 187 points back in 3rd. And with another road course race on the horizon, it doesn’t seem likely that Blocker’s form will change anytime soon. Blocker has 2 wins and a 2nd through 3 road courses so far this season. An unprecedent 4th straight win seems much more likely then not at this point.
The only other driver to win on a road course this season is real-world IndyCar and Rallycross driver Sage Karam. Karam was able to stay out in front at the fast sweeping Watkins Glen track in round 2. Mosport is a track with similarly fast, high commitment corners, so if anyone is going to be able to stop Blocker it might be Karam.
In last year’s race, the drive of the race might have belonged to Andrew Kinsella, who went from 21st on the grid to finish 3rd. This is a hometown race for the Canadian driver, who lives only a few hours from the track. If Kinsella can qualify better this year, maybe the Adrenaline driver will even have a shot at hist teammate.
One driver to keep an eye on is Damon Martinez. Martinez has been slowly getting faster and faster throughout his rookie season, and is now knocking on the door of the top 10 in points. Martinez has qualified well at each of the road course races so far, but it is keeping out of trouble that has been his biggest issue so far. If Martinez keeps the nose clean, don’t count out the independent driver from factoring into the action.
The track at Canadian Tire Motorspots track is a unique challenge for the drivers of Lionheart. It is a short lap, only just over 1 minute in length, but off camber corners, and steep drops make this one of the most fun, high commitment tracks on the service. Which ever driver wins today will have to deal with traffic, navigate the course, and fend off some hungry competitors.
Who will win? Tune in Wednesday June 19th at 10:35pm eastern for the Thumbs Up Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport, only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.