There is no rest for the Lionheart IndyCar drivers. Just one week after completing the series first ever dual in Detroit, the drivers make the long journey east to the Land of the Rising Sun for the Global Electronic Technology 200 from the high banks of the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan!
Last time out in Detroit, it was Adam Blocker sweeping both of the 32 lap races. In the first, Blocker lead home strong efforts by Tyler Graaf and Damon Martinez. George Sandman and Brian Yaczik rounded out the top 5 in a race filled with attrition. Only 19 of 37 starters were running at the end, and only 8 were on the lead lap. Early race incidents saw contenders Dustin Wardlow, Michael Goodman, Andrew Kinsella, and Bryan Carey all fall by the wayside. While Dan Geren had significant damage, and Connor Harrington made a late race mistake to ruin a shot at the podium. Race 2 was a slightly more composed affair after a hairy first lap where Yaczik spun infront of the field coming out of the 2nd corner on lap 1. A short yellow flag followed with Yaczik, Kinsella and Chris Stofer all taking damage and needing to pit for repairs. The race settled down at that point, and it was Blocker leading Harrington and Geren across the line, this time by only 7 seconds. Sandman replicated his race 1 results with another 4th place finish, while Wardlow made up for his lap 1, race 1 incident with a 5th. With the sweep, Blocker now has 2 wins on the season and an amazing record of not finishing off the podium through 7 rounds, with an average finishing position of 2.14. In a field as deep as Lionheart’s is this year that is truly an accomplishment.
Coming into Motegi, it is hard to bet against that type of record and consistency. That being said, if there is one type of track that could leave Blocker vulnerable it might just be the egg-shaped Japanese oval. Motegi is known for it’s wide racing surface, and the flat-out nature of turns 1 and 2 often leads to action on the back stretch as the draft is most certainly in play. This means tight racing where a mistake, even not of your own doing, could mean the end of your day. All that being said, betting against Blocker right now would not be a smart move.
2nd in points remains Dan Geren, and if there is one other driver who should be considered a threat to Blocker this season, it would be Geren. The Midwest driver also has 2 wins on the season, although the consensus best qualifier in the field so far only has 1 pole position. Look for Geren to change that at Motegi, a track where nailing the right line means tenths not just hundredths of a second.
Another driver to watch is Big Joe Hassert. Hassert, the self-professed oval specialist, broke through and won here earlier this season when the sister Retro Series driving the Lotus 79 visited the track. This was Bog Joe’s first Lionheart win since 2017, and rumour has it that he is feeling his mojo again. Smart money says that Hassert will be among the contenders at the end of the day.
In the team standings, there were no significant changes. Adrenaline Motorsports Red maintained it’s lead over Synergy East on the strength of Blocker’s 2 wins. Adrenaline Motorsports Black trails in 3rd, over Synergy West and the 2 Loud Pedal Motorsports teams in 5th and 6th. 7th through 11th is where all the team action currently lies, as you could throw a blanket over NHR e-sports, Skid Mark Black, 8 Ball Motorsports, Controlled Chaos, and NLR Sim Racing.
The Global Electronic Technology 200 from Twin Ring Motegi will go off this Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 at 10:35pm eastern. Tune in for all the action only on the iRacing eSports Network present by GSRC.
It’s been nearly a month since the IR-18’s have turned a competitive lap, however the drivers have not been idle in the meantime. This Wednesday, the drivers will face their most challenging night yet, with not one but two 75-mile races around the picturesque Belle Isle street circuit in the Loud Pedal Motorsports Dual in Detroit. Full points will be on offer in each race, making it doubly important that the driver knows the track well. Add to that the tough nature of the track, with unforgiving concrete walls lining the track, and you will not find a more challenging night in Lionheart this season.
In the month off, it wasn’t all practice for Lionheart members, however, as the iRacing Indy 500 saw tremendous success from the Lionheart contingent participating. Of the 1900 drivers who participated in at least one of the 4 running’s of the 500; Brian Greenlee finished 2nd in his split, Bart Workman, Stephen Laarkamp, Tony Showen, and former series driver Jonathan Goke all were victorious in lower splits, while Adam Blocker and Andrew Kinsella both had top split victories in the first 2 time slots of the event. The Lionheart Series would like to extend congratulations to all Lionheart drivers who participated in the annual event.
Last time out at Pocono, Dan Geren became the first 2-time winner this season, edging out Adam Blocker by 0.3 seconds. Jason Galvin shook off his hard-luck start to 2019 with a 3rd place finish, while Tony Showen and Brian Yaczik rounded out the top 5. Adam Blocker remains at the top of the standings 38 points in front of Geren, with Andrew Kinsella, Dustin Wardlow and rookie Bryan Carey rounding out the top 5.
From one of the longest, fastest and widest ovals to the tightest, twistiest and slowest road course, these races will require a completely different style and mindset from the drivers. One mistake will very easily put a driver in the concrete wall, and with no fast repair available, it will mean the end of one of the races, and many lost championship points.
Adam Blocker, Lionhearts road course king since the retirement of Jake Wright, will be looking to continue his reign at Detroit. With Sage Karam tentative due to his real-life Indy 500 commitments, it could be Adam’s races to lose. But the Carolina driver has spent much of the last month preparing for the iRacing Indy 500, so that has opened the door to the like of Dan Geren or Tyler Graaf to potentially step in and steal the victory. Both drivers have logged hundreds of laps in preparation for this race, and look like they could have the speed to challenge for victory.
One of the key aspects to the race will be merely keeping the car between the concrete walls, and pointed straight. In that area, rookies Bryan Carey and John G. Hill might be at an advantage. Carey drove a very smart race at Watkins Glen, passing faster cars as they made mistakes, while Hill has yet to incur an incident in over 1000 simulated miles so far this year. If both drivers remain clean on Wednesday, look for both of them to be in the top 10 at the finish of either race.
In the team championship Adrenaline Motorsports Red maintains the lead with all 3 of their drivers in the top 5 in points. Synergy East is 2nd on the back of 3 wins in 5 rounds. Loud Pedal Motorsports was the big mover last week on the back of Galvin’s 3rd and Yaczik’s 5th place finishes, and their teams sit 5th and 6th respectively.
For 2 times the action, tune in this Wednesday, May 22nd for the Loud Pedal Motorsports Dual in Detroit at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
One year ago, Dan Geren had his eyes on a win at Pocono Raceway. His internet connection had other ideas.
On Wednesday night, Geren earned redemption. The Iowa native and Synergy Motorsports driver recovered from a poor - by his standards, at least - start spot to lead the most laps and win the iRacingiFlag 300 presented by Fat Dog Racing.
Geren retook the lead from championship rival Adam Blocker with 10 laps to go and pulled away, earning his second win of the season in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“I wasn’t feeling it all week, all day,” said Geren, who started 12th. “Ron Hacker had to pull me out of it. This is redemption, Pocono owed me one.”
Geren nearly lost the race on its final restart.
A lap 90 caution following Chris Stofer’s single car crash allowed the leaders to top off the fuel tank and take tires for a final dash to the finish. Loud Pedal Motorsports driver Jason Galvin jumped to the outside of Geren on the restart, allowing Blocker to draft up from third and make a three-wide pass into turn two.
Blocker would lead from lap 95 until 110, holding off Geren and Galvin. But Tyler Graaf exited the pits ahead of Blocker early in the run, and despite being a lap down was able to hold Blocker at bay for over 10 laps.
When Blocker got a run on Graaf coming to 10 laps to go, the second-year driver moved over on the exit of turn three. That’s when Geren saw his opportunity to strike, using the draft and the long front straightaway at Pocono to slingshot past Blocker and back to the lead.
“I found a little bit of a pick-me-up in a couple of turns, and it allowed me to stick with Adam the whole time,” Geren said. “He’s so good. I just snuck by him. I got around Blocker.”
Blocker was less than thrilled with Graaf.
“To be honest, I think I would’ve been able to keep (Geren) back if the lapped car wouldn’t have been unpredictable,” Blocker said. “(Graaf) said he was going to let us by on the straight but he started to pull over in the corner, and it caused me some aero wash. But I’ll take second. I wasn’t always up there in this race.”
Galvin was able to run down Blocker but said he used too much tire in the process, settling for third. It was the first finish of the season for Galvin, who was wrecked while in position to win at Kentucky.
“That was a fun race,” Galvin said after driving through the field from 21st on the grid. “I didn’t think I had much for Dan or Adam but then that last run I was able to stay with them. It makes me wish I did things different on the final restart. But those two are the best we have on oval tracks, so if you finish third behind Dan and Adam that’s a good night.”
The 120 lap race took one hour and 45 minutes to complete. The event was slowed by six cautions, including a wreck with two laps remaining that forced the checkers to fly along with a yellow flag.
Blocker’s Adrenaline Motorsports teammate Tony Showen led 16 laps early but settled for fourth, while Galvin’s teammate Brian Yaczik finished fifth after his pit crew cost him three positions on the final stop.
Bob Mikes, Connor Harrington, Justin Weaver, pole winner Mike Rigney and Andrew Kinsella rounded out the top ten.
Blocker leads Geren by 38 points after round five of the 25 race season. Kinsella sits third, 44 points behind Geren.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment takes a month off, but the break is a welcome one. The series is set to debut at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit for its first ever dual event.
Both 32 lap Loud Pedal Motorsports Dual’s in Detroit will take place on Wednesday, May 22. The events can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with production by the Global SimRacing Channel, with the broadcast beginning at 10:35 p.m. EST.