Time can be a funny thing. Sometimes, it seems to crawl by in a moment, dragging to eternity. Other times, it seems to fly by, with no regard for the significance or gravity of a moment, almost daring you to take yourself out of the moment in a desperate attempt to slow it down. Such as it is for a league that, not 4 years ago, was a pipe dream in league founder Jorge Anzaldo’s mind. A league; a community, founded on keeping the spirit of Dan Wheldon alive. Wheldon, the original Indycar Lionheart, embodied the vision of what Anzaldo was looking for in a league member.
5 seasons later, it is safe to say that vision has come to life. Along the way there have been trials to be certain. The rocky beginnings of any sim-racing league looking to finds its way. The trials of finding the right people to run in the league. Finding, and then losing, the league’s very own Lionheart, Patrick Taylor. But there have been times of joy too. Champions celebrated. Lap records set. Most importantly though, a community created, in the vision of Anzaldo and Taylor. And at the center of it all, one car has remained a constant.
The DW12, named in honor of the late Dan Wheldon, meant so much for the real-life IndyCar Series. A new, safer beginning in a unified series, looking to move beyond the past and stretch towards the future. For the Lionheart Series on iRacing, it meant more. A moving tribute to the spirit of Dan Wheldon, and the hard work he put in to developing the car. In many ways it symbolized the hard work put in by the league.
But time marches forever forward. Now, a new IndyCar has come to iRacing, and the Lionheart Series. The IR-18, still using the basic chassis that Wheldon developed, now with better aero-dynamics, lower drag and the promise of even better racing.
The series has seen changes too. Jake Wright, the three-time defending champion is stepping away from the IndyCar series in 2018 to focus on the Retro series. A crop of talented rookies come in looking to make their mark. Wily veterans look to seize the moment and take the championship for themselves. A host of new sponsors and prizes await all these drivers at the end of the season.
But for one night, the Lionheart series will press pause on the steady march of time. For one event, it is time to celebrate the last 5 seasons, and all that the DW12 has brought to the league. The 2018 Lionheart All-Star Race will serve as the final race of the DW12 in the Lionheart series. The end of an era. It is perhaps fitting that after serving the league so well these past 5 seasons, that for one final night, the best that Lionheart has to offer will serve up a tribute to the car that made it happen.
The 2018 Lionheart All-Star Race will be live from Darlington Motor Speedway at 10:35pm Eastern on Wednesday March 14th, only on GSRC and iRacing Live.