Once again, Andrew Kinsella proved to be too good when it mattered most, capturing the win in the season-opening First Medical Equipment 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
It’s the second-consecutive season Kinsella has won the opener for the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“I love Homestead, and hats off to Brian (Yaczik), that was fantastic racing,” Kinsella said.”I hope everyone enjoyed it, because it was basically wheel-to-wheel racing at the end.”
The first race in the new Dallara IR-18 was full of action, as drivers battled a car that appeared to handle even better than its predecessor, the DW-12, in traffic.
The result was evident from the beginning, with an uncharacteristically high amount of passing. 21 lead changes occurred among seven drivers, the final coming on lap 126 when Kinsella went around Brian Yaczik, who led a race-high 51 laps before settling for second.
“I was surprised Brian gave me the outside,” Kinsella said. “We were able to roll the outside really well once the tires wore out.”
Yaczik, still searching for his first Lionheart win, was disappointed.
“I burned my (tires) up on the bottom, and I know better, I know better, I know better,” Yaczik said after the race.”If I keep making these rookie mistakes, I’m not going to win one of these things. I knew that the top was the way to be, I knew it last week and I knew it in the practice race, and I just put the blinders on and cost myself a win.”
The close racing action saw a record seven cautions for 28 laps. The third yellow turned the race upside down. Polesitter Dan Geren, early leader Ian Adams, and top-five runners Pierre Daigle and Jason Galvin were all trapped a lap down after a caution flew at the beginning of the pit cycle on lap 43, when Christ Stofer turned James Krahula.
The quartet battled from outside the top 30 to the top 10 in the final 90 laps, but Geren’s race ended early with a crash on lap 116.
The mad dash to the finish saw Brandon Limkemann, who started 32nd, record a career-best third place.
“It was an exciting night, for sure,” Limkemann said. “This is a great start for the new team.”
The league sponsor led the way for the newly formed Synergy Motorsports, which leads the team standings after strong performances from Geren, Jorge Anzaldo (7th), and Ron Hacker (14th). Dustin Wardlow finished 37th after a mid-race crash.
Joe Branch came home fourth - putting two cars (Kinsella) in the top five for Adrenaline Motorsports - with Adams finishing fifth.
Galvin rebounded to sixth in his debut for defending team champion No Name Racing. After Anzaldo, Ken Hacker’s series debut ended in eighth, with Joe Hassert and Daigle joining teammate Galvin in the top ten.
The aforementioned crash that eliminated Wardlow also put pre-race favorite Chris Stofer and rookie Isaiah Dupre on the hauler. The crash occurred on lap 101 when Ed Tutwiler drifted into Stofer in a battle for third. Dupre and Wardlow ended up collateral damage in the wreck, the largest of the race.
Geren’s feverish comeback attempt ended after Anzaldo and Branch made contact in turn three with 17 laps remaining. An accordion followed, and Geren ended up tumbling through the air, ending his race.
26 of the 43 drivers finished on the lead lap, with 31 cars finishing the 133 lap race.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment goes short track racing next week, with the Thumbs Up, Cancer Down 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
The first short oval race for the IR-18 is sure to throw a twist into the event, won by Jonathan Goke last season. Goke is now deployed in the U.S. Air Force, opening the door for a new driver to take the checkered flag.
The Thumbs Up, Cancer Down 200 is set for Wednesday, April 4 at 10:35 p.m. EST.
On Thursday, April 5, the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation returns to the track with the first road course event of the year, the Clipping That Apex Grand Prix at The Glen at Watkins Glen International, also set for a 10:35 p.m. EST start.
Both events, along with all Lionheart Racing Series events, can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel.
For more information on the Lionheart Racing Series, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.
This is the dawning of a new era for the Lionheart IndyCar series presented by First Medical Equipment. New partners have joined the series. New teams have replaced old. A new car has arrived. And, through it all, a new champion will be crowned. It all begins with the First Medical Equipment 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway.
This off season was one of many changes, with the biggest news of all coming out of the No Name stable. 3-time defending champion Jake Wright will not be going for 4 in a row this year, as he focuses solely on the Lionheart Retro Series. Brian Yaczik also left No Name to form the new-to-Lionheart Loud Pedal Motorsports with Brian Greenlee, Woody Mahan and David Korty. This leaves No Name with Big Joe Hassert, Pierre Daigle, and James Krahula returning, joined by Jason Galvin, formerly the “G” of AGR Motorsports. Speaking of AGR, they are no more. Another new team has risen in it’s place. Synergy Motorsports is made up of former AGR found Jorge Anzaldo, Series sponsor Brandon Limkemann, Ron Hacker, Dustin Wardlow and last year’s runner up Dan Geren joining from the now defunct #nailedit team. Returning teams with some new drivers include Controlled Chaos Racing, now made up of Bob Mikes, Scott Bolster, Samuel Rieman and Mitch Mohler. Area 51 racing will field a 3-car effort for Jack Bogan, Pete Edwins and Rory Collins. Dragon Fly Racing returns with Vincent Bluthenthal, Jason Robarge, Chris Lanini, Robert Blouin and Matt Mercer. Other new teams include Skid Mark Motorsports with Scotty Johnson, Bart Workman and Brian Beard. 8 Ball Motorsports with Michael Goodman, Justin Weaver and Michel de Jonge, and No Lift Motorsports with Ian Adams, Michael Grey, and Dylan McKenna. Finally, the only team to remain completely unchanged through this entire off season was Adrenaline Motorpsorts, with the team of Andrew Kinsella, Adam Blocker, Chris Stofer, Joe Branch and Tony Showen.
First Medical Equipment is back as the title sponsor of the series once again this year.HPP simulation has also returned, with the winner of the 2018 IndyCar series receiving one of the new HPP HSW-F sim wheels. Additional partners new for the 2018 season include The SimPit, Clipping That Apex, Viva Motorsport, SIMSPORTNews, Guys Games and Beer, Plasma-Tracks.com and The Guitammer Company, maker of ButtKicker low frequency products. As a special prize, the rookie of the year this season will receive a ButtKicker Gamer2 or a ButtKicker Simulation Kit. It is very exciting to welcome these and many more into the Lionheart Family.
Out of all these changes, so many story lines abound. Will Adrenaline, with their unchanged line-up be quickest out of the gate as the other teams get used to each other? Or will some instant chemistry bring out the best in a talented group of new teammates such as Synergy? Will Michel de Jonge return to form on the road courses after his time away from the series or will a guy like Adam Blocker or Dan Geren be able to challenge for wins now that the road course king has vacated his crown. Will No Name be able to overcome the loss of Jake Wright to retain their team championship? Last year, Dan Geren, Michael Goodman and Andrew Kinsella all demonstrated flashes of being able to hang with Jake Wright in the points championship. With Wright gone, will one of these drivers be able to seize the crown, or will it be another who puts together the perfect season to win the championship?
And then there is the biggest question mark of all: the new car. This IR18 shares a lot of it’s underpinnings with the DW12 it replaces, but at the same time drives differently. The draft is long but the aero-push reduced. Following distances are shorter. The rear end of the car more forgiving. Will the drivers who were fast in the DW12 still be fast in the IR18, or will new drivers rise to the top?
Right now, we have a lot of questions. If you want answers you will have to tune in to find out. The First Medical Equipment 200 from Homestead Miami Speedway kicks off the season March 28th. Round 1 of the 24 race season will be broadcast live Wednesday at 10:35pm Eastern time only on GSRC and iRacing Live.
If you believe in fate, or are even the least bit superstitious, Wednesday night’s Lionheart All-Star Race presented by Von Hanson’s Meats at Darlington Raceway should not have surprised you.
After 77 regular season starts without a win, Canadian Pierre Daigle avoided a chaotic wreck with two laps remaining and captured the win for the first time in his Lionheart career.
“Words can’t describe how I feel right now,” Daigle said. “I’ve been waiting so long to finally win one. I’ve been close several times, but it feels really, really good to win it.”
The Lionheart series is named in honor of the late Dan Wheldon. The All-Star event marked the end of the DW-12 era for Lionheart, a car named after Wheldon. Wheldon was behind the wheel of the 77 car on that fateful day in 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 77 adorns the badge of the Lionheart logo, the most prominent tribute from a league dedicated to remembering the larger-than-life driver.
“Technically it won’t count in the official stats, but this win means just as much to me, if not more,” Daigle said. “To win the final race in the DW-12...it sure felt like some forces were at work.”
Daigle’s win capped off a banner night for a revamped No Name Racing team. James Krahula followed his teammate through the madness of the final three laps to finish second, while Jason Galvin rebounded after getting caught in an earlier wreck to finish third in his team debut.
“This track you have to absolutely drive it, and I had to take away every single instinct I had when it comes to Darlington, because this car is not a stock car,” Krahula said. “This was awesome, a fun way to get the season started.”
Daigle and Krahula both narrowly avoided disaster, twice. With three laps remaining, Brandon Limkemann and Brian Yaczik - both also searching for their first Lionheart win - made contact on the back straightaway. As the two careened out of control, Daigle and Krahula squeezed through before Joe Branch was collected, paving the way for Galvin’s unlikely recovery and podium finish.
Enthralled in a five-car battle for the lead on lap 61, Galvin was collected when contact between the leaders took out several of the pre-race favorites. With the front running cars on various tire cycles, Tony Showen made contact with Limkemann in turn one. While Limkemann slid through the contact undamaged, Showen was hit by Jake Wright and Chris Stofer, the two dominant cars for most of the event. Galvin was clipped by a spinning Stofer, with Adam Blocker and Chris Lanini also getting collected.
“I’m so pumped for Pierre,” Galvin said. “From day one he’s been one of my best friends in the league. That wreck at the end, I just felt fortunate to weave through. I thought that wreck on lap 61 I was clear of, and the track just closed up. I’m proud of the podium.”
The caution allowed some drivers to stay out, while others pitted for tires, leading to the dramatic finish.
A third major crash occurred early, on lap 4. Michael Goodman and championship favorite Dan Geren came together down the back straightaway. Joe Hassert and Ian Adams were swept up in the collision, ending the race for all four.
Daigle becomes the fifth different winner in as many All-Star events for the Lionheart IndyCar Series. Previous winners include Adams (2017), Korey Conner (‘16), Joe Hassert (‘15) and Jesse Vincent (‘15).
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment will now retire the DW-12 from full-time competition.
The new IR-18 will debut for the season opener, the First Medical Equipment 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
That race can be viewed live on the Global SimRacing Channel on Wednesday, March 28, at 10:35 p.m. EST. The First Medical Equipment 200 is the first of 24 races spread across nine months.
For more information on the Lionheart Racing Series, including the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment and the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.
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.
The Lionheart Racing Series announced a partnership with Plasma-Tracks, the leader in race track wall art and custom trophies, to produce championship trophies for the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment and the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation.
Plasma-Tracks will also design trophies for second and third in both series.
Lionheart members and fans will also receive a 25 percent discount on Plasma-Tracks wall art tracks using the promo code: LRS2018.
“I’m excited to see what Scott (Rhea, Plasma-Tracks owner) comes up with,” said Lionheart founder Jorge Anzaldo. “Partnering with someone so respected is big for us. Plasma-Tracks has done work for tracks across the country and for some of the top series as well. This will be something our champions cherish.”
As part of the partnership, Plasma-Tracks will present the post-race show for each IndyCar and Retro event.
The Lionheart Iron Man Award, also presented by Plasma-Tracks, will be awarded to the drivers who complete the most laps in each series. Round 8 of the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation at Barber Motorsports Park will also be presented by Plasma-Tracks.
Plasma-Tracks actively produces metal sculptures of over 120 different tracks, with 600 more on file. The art, ranging from 4 to 48 inches, is custom designed, cut and finished by Rhea.
For more information on Plasma-Tracks, visit www.plasma-tracks.com.
For more information on the Lionheart Racing Series, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.
Promo Codes from Various Sponsors:
Viva Motorsport: LIONHEART (Drivers and fans receive 10% off orders)
ButtKicker: LION20 (Drivers and fans receive 20% off orders)
Clipping That Apex: LIONHEART18 (Drivers and fans receive 15% off orders)
Plasma Tracks: LRS2018 (Drivers and fans receive 25% off of track art)
The Lionheart Racing Series and LOC Precision announced a partnership today to bring the premier IndyCar league using the iRacing.com service, and the premier model rocket company in America together.
The cleanest driver in both the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment and the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation will receive the LOC Precision Cleanest Driver award, along with $25.
LOC Precision is also donating 31 rockets to be distributed to league members throughout the year.
“We can’t thank LOC Precision enough,” said Lionheart founder Jorge Anzaldo. “Dave Barber has been one of our biggest supporters and a great league member. And now, we can put some of his fast rockets into the hands of our fast drivers. Who knows how high they’ll fly?”
LOC Precision offers rockets for all ages, experience levels and skill sets. The Wisconsin-based company was purchased by Barber and his business partner just over a year ago.
LOC Precision also provides the rockets for several school programs across the country, helping to educate the next set of rocketeers and aviation enthusiasts.
For more information on the rocket kits and to purchase yours from LOC Precision, visit www.locprecision.com.
For more on the Lionheart Racing Series, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.
The Lionheart Racing Series announced a partnership today with Guys Games and Beer, the leading podcast for gaming fans across the country.
Guys Games and Beer becomes the first podcast to follow the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, as well as the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation.
“This connection came through Lionheart member Marty Davis,” said series founder Jorge Anzaldo. “The fact that a major podcast, with such a strong following, is willing to cover our leagues says a lot about our members and partners.”
Each week, a panel of five to ten gamers get together to talk games, and nothing is off topic. Board, retro, online...you name it, the Gutter Geeks will discuss it.
The podcast is approaching its 300th episode!
For more information on the podcast, or to download or watch it, visit www.guysgamesandbeer.net.